Detroit Lions 30
Green Bay Packers 17

Coming off of the Packers bye week, they played host to the division rival Detroit Lions at lambeau field for the 8th game of the season. Despite having two weeks to prepare for the game Mike McCarthy’s team were embarrassed by being outclassed on coaching, defense, offense and special teams, on the way to a 30-17 loss that was nowhere near as the score would suggest, with the Packers only closing some gap during garbage time.

Keys To The Game

Quarterback Quandry

McCarthy has spent the last three weeks extolling the virtues of Brett Hundley at quarterback. Opining to all who would listen that he has three years invested in this young man. Admonishing reporters in rude fashion who dared question his ability, or McCarthy’s commitment to him. Well ohhhh boy did McCarthy ever show his faith in him last night after having two whole weeks to prepare his third-year quarterback for a middling defense like the Lions. Hundley seemed completely unaware of the fact, until midway through the third quarter, that the rules of football allow for the ball to be thrown beyond the line of scrimmage. He peppered checkdowns across the field in a manner akin to a 2015 Alex Smith fever dream. We don’t know if this was an issue of the gameplan being designed this way (McCarthys fault), or Hundley simply being a bad quarterback with no downfield vision who was unprepared for the game (Hundley & McCarthy’s fault). Whichever one of those it is however, a performance that poor coming off a bye is inexcusable, especially when the ‘Highly Successful’ head coach has spent weeks singing the praises of his quarterback and snapping at anyone who dared suggest alternatives.

Embed from Getty Images

Hundleys paltry 6.4 yards per attempt and 86.0 passer rating was not even as good as that suggested, being inflated by the fourth quarter yardage a Lions defense that was comfortably enough in the lead it could shift to prevent gifted him. The offense also abandoned the previously successful Aaron Jones, with him and Ty Montgomery combining for a total of 10 carries and 45 yards. With the exception of a solitary read option play on the first drive, one could be forgiven for thinking the Packers had no offensive gameplan at all other than to throw passes no further than 2 yards down the field and pray somebody could make a defender miss, as Cobb eventually did on the lone long play of the night; a 46 yard catch and run.

Overall, this was as poor an offensive showing as a team could possibly manage. It was Cleveland Browns-ian in nature. We’ve had almost 3 games to see Hundley thus far, one with two weeks to prepare. For this game he had the starting offensive line properly together for the majority of the game, and all his offensive weapons except the drop-prone Bennett at tight end, facing a defense that in previous weeks had struggled intensely to pressure the quarterback. There was no excuse for not succeeding against the Lions on offense other than Hundley is simply not good enough, and McCarthy continues to have no idea how to tool his offense to account for changes in personnel like losing the player who has hid his deficiencies as a playcaller through pure magic for the past couple of years.

Missing: 1 Defense. If found, return to 1265 Lombardi Ave.

15 offensive drives.

That’s the number of offensive possessions Packers opponents have had since they last forced a punt. Sam Martin, punter for the Detroit Lions, never saw the field. One week after allowing Drew Brees to throw for 324 yards, the defense allowed 353 yards through the air from Stafford. Not only was the overall defense poor, but the times where it was at its worst were even more impactful. Despite putting the Lions in numerous third and long situations, the defense allowed them to convert 8 of 13 third downs. Against a poor offensive line that, after injury, was playing a third string right tackle, the Packers only managed to summon up one sack of Stafford. Combine a lack of pressure with the patented 8-yards past the first down marker third down defense of Dom Capers and this team has no chance to stop anyone.

Embed from Getty Images

The silver lining to this is that pretty much every Packers fan is onboard the Fire Capers train at this point. This defense, which has been fed 8 of the teams last 10 first round picks, and has an abundance of talent, is locked into a scheme with people playing out of position and poorly. The lack of motivation is evident at times as is the liability that is Capers trying to defend the modern offense by praying for lucky interceptions in a league where QBs are becoming more and more risk averse. After the performance of a defense that exerts zero pressure upon opposing QBs while simultaneously being unable to cover anyone, it’s nothing short of insulting to the fans if Capers is allowed to remain in his position through the end of the season.

Player of the Week

I have sat infront of my computer here at work on my lunch break for 15 minutes watching clips of last nights game, trying to figure out which player in this debacle had done enough to warrant being named player of the week. At this point, I think I may have to simply cancel the award. Sorry.

 

Totally-Not-Knee-Jerk Reactions

  1. Clay Matthews should’ve been cut going into the season, he’ll definitely be cut going into the next one. Paying $11million this year for a guy on track for 5 sacks who last night had 1 tackle is ridiculous. He’s still riding on the fact that he was all-pro quality 5 years ago.
  2. I know a good proportion of the people who read this follow me on twitter, so I want to address my angry in-game tweeting. It’s just my way of dealing with the stress of watching a game. It doesn’t mean I don’t love this team. I love this team so much I was awake until 4:30am last night watching that mess of a game, to get 2 hours sleep and then head in to do a day of work. So while I am disappointed with the current incarnation of the team, the direction its taking and its coaching staff, please do not mistake that for me not having my whole heart invested with the Green Bay Packers as an entity.
  3. I genuinely don’t think it’s unfair to consider whether this team is capable of winning a game the rest of this season. Coming off the bye is their best chance with plenty time to prepare and a rested and healthy team (relatively). I honestly don’t know if I would put money on them beating the Browns at this point.