Packers XLV

Lousy Defense, Penalties and Drops...Oh My.

Posted September 24th, 2018 @ 01:09pm

Three games into the season, the Packers have one remarkable comeback win, an empty, unsatisfying tie and now a decisive loss that featured a defensive first half breakdown, a Raider-like string of penalties and an assortment of untimely drops.

Well at least they get to come home and play the Bills. Yeah, about that...

The defensive issues in the first half were alarming. I wondered whether we'd see a hangover from the team, coming off two emotional divisional games and then heading on the road to face a team that was coming off a clunker of a home loss to the Colts. That the Vikings had similar issues in the first half lends credence to the possibility. What is most concerning to me is the pass interference penalties. The corners have to keep their hands off. They basically gifted Washington a touchdown, allowing them to march down the field with ease.

Once again, the pass rush was a rumor and the coverage in the secondary was hit or miss. The safety play continues to be a problem and the fact that Kentrell Brice took no accountability on the touchdown pass to Paul Richardson suggests he has a long way to go to become a solid presence on the back end.

Yet despite the 28 points and 200 yards passing surrendered in the first half and despite the fact that the defense made Adrian Peterson look like the back we respected before we learned how he parented his kids, the team had every opportunity to get back in the game. Suddenly, the defense stiffened, but then so did Rodgers' hamstring. Yet he continued to give the Pack a chance--only to be done in by his receivers' case of the drops.

Randall Cobb, usually sure handed, dropped a pair of catches he has to make, including the fourth down bullet that essentially ended the game. He also coughed up the ball at the most inopportune time. Then there's Lance Kendricks, whose drop on the right sideline should earn him a place on the bench or on the street. I'm ready to see the team give more opportunities to Marcedes Lewis or Robert Tonyan at this point.

This doesn't fall into the category of an embarrassing loss. The Redskins might turn out to be pretty good in a division that looks pretty mediocre. Their defense is above average (ranked #1 in yards allowed and passing yards allowed coming in) and Alex Smith will not lose any games himself. But the way the Packers came out to play in their first road test was alarming and needs to be corrected if they're to be taken seriously in the NFC this season.

To make matters worse, it looks like the Pack lost Muhammad Wilkerson for the long term. His ankle injury was so bad he was taken to the hospital via ambulance during the game. It's unlikely we'll see him back in green and gold. Then the right side of the offensive line got obliterated, as Bryan Bulaga exited late in the first half with a back injury and Justin McCray followed with a shoulder. No word yet on the severity of either, but the line is a house of cards, with mostly unproven guys behind the starters. As expected, Jason Springs struggled in Bulaga's place and will likely be the starter next Sunday, if nor longer.

Bright spots? There were a couple. Aaron Jones brought instant electricity to the running game and needs to be implemented more into the offense beginning next week.  Um, I'm trying to come up with one or two more bright spots, but I'm coming up empty.

And then there's the third roughing the passer penalty on Clay Matthews in three games. This one joins the week 2 call as being completely ridiculous. From where I'm sitting, the officials and the NFL say they are applying the new Anthony Barr rule regarding body weight on the QB. What they're missing is the language in the new rule which states that defenders must not "unnecessarily" put all or most of their body weight on the quarterback. That's a ket distinction to me. Barr's hit last year qualifies as 'unnecessarily.' Matthews wrapped up the QB and tackled him the only way he could. The NFL has to figure this out--it's gotten ridiculous.

So the Packers return home licking their wounds, with two home games in the next three weeks against young inexperienced QBs. There's no chance that they'll take the Bills lightly after what went down at US Bank Stadium, and the Monday night game against the Niners looks completely different now, after Jimmy Garrapolo suffered an apparent ACL injury. The road game in Detroit is sandwiched in between and then they'll get their much needed bye. The two home games will provide opportunities for the defense to rise up and gain some confidence and experience for the young corners. They can't afford any more clunkers. At worst, this team needs to be 3-2-1 at the bye, with a difficult five game stretch looming beginning in Los Angeles.

We knew there would be growing pains with this defense. They've played three games. They need to consistently play like they did in the first half against Minnesota and the second half in Washington. It's time for them to grow up.



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Comments (9):

OSSG, I like how you think. thought the same thing. But I would rather have them go after Eric Reid that is 27 and just sitting there, and don't have to give up anything. I wanted them to draft him way back when, and I think Packerlifer wanted him too. we need 2 O- lineman too, Bulaga, McCray and Patrick who replaced McCray are all hurt. I think earlier in the year on my 1st post. I said health is biggest thing to winning. so far, were screwed again. and Please no Packer fans say to get rb Bell , our Rb's are fine, that is not the problem, Go Packers

on September 24th, 2018 at 01:38pm

I feel like we are of one mind. Eric Reid would seam to be very useful. By the way, I was at the game. No, not our, I just had a 40 yard line seat for the Meltdown in Minneapolis. It was a total stinker from start to finish. I wore my Dickey jersey, and provided some lighthearted comedy relief to many good natured if down cast fans. It was ugly and the boos were audible several time. I'm glad I didn't pay for that ticket, but happy for the chance to visit the stadium.

on September 24th, 2018 at 02:31pm

Nice to see Cobb litter the field with drops and fumbles the same week as Jordy Nelson goes off for 170+ yards for the Raiders. Great GM'ing there, Ted Jr....

on September 24th, 2018 at 03:09pm

Yet despite the 28 points and 200 yards passing surrendered in the first half and despite the fact that the defense made Adrian Peterson look like the back we respected before we learned how he parented his kids.................seriously, jackass? SERIOUSLY

on September 24th, 2018 at 06:59pm

there is only one thing I learned this weekend, and seeing there is no viking rubes on here. I and us don't no a damn thing about the NFL. as Mike Tice once said. enjoy the season, lol.

on September 24th, 2018 at 11:33am

Closed circuit to Gutey: PLEASE go get Earl Thomas from Seattle. While we have other needs on defense have you seen our safety play? Dix has lost it and does not understand tackling angles and Brice has no clue. Thomas would bring, ability, attitude, and swagger we so badly need. While you are at release House and Kendricks. PLEASE !! GO PACK GO !!

on September 24th, 2018 at 12:34pm

Man, with Wilkerson done and now Griffen likely out for the year, it looks like the Bears are in prime position to win the division!

on September 25th, 2018 at 03:05am

It was a weird week in the NFL, with surprise upsets all over the league. The Packers weren't the only ones or even the worst. And maybe we allowed ourselves to be "sandbagged" a bit by Washington after their loss the previous week to the Colts. The injuries coming out of this one to Wilkerson & Bulaga are the more enduring damage. The Packers played sloppy in some sloppy weather. That, though, can be fixed. Out of 12 quarters of regulation the defense has played well in 8. They have to figure out why they are foundering or falling apart in one (Chicago first, Minisota 4th) or a half this week. The league's new roughing rule reminds me of the old court issue about pornography: you may not be able to precisely define it but most people know it when they see it. But Claymaker needs to get if figured out so the team isn't continually being hurt by getting called for it. Tackle without lifting, driving or falling on top. If clubs like Buffalo and Detroit can suddenly turn it around in a week after the way they started the season, the Packers should be able to after just one bad week on the road when they return to Lambeau this week. At least they won't be complacent when they look at the game film of the Bills at Queens.

on September 25th, 2018 at 06:05am

sorry viking rubes, this was all on me. i couldn't get them ready. even with there 2 best players out we got killed. worse game i coached since last year at Philly. now we get another break, there top 2 corners are out for the rams. God were lucky. we have to get the ball to the wr's this week, we cant run, we all know that. but we can throw it to cook. we still may lose, but i better see more fight this week. we lose though, rams 27- 16

on September 26th, 2018 at 01:46pm

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