If there is one word that you can use to describe the Packers performance in week 11 against the Colts, it would be “sloppy”.
The Packers fell to the Colts 34-31 in overtime after a successful field goal from Indianapolis. The game had so many highs and lows, it had many of us on the edge of our seats all game.
The Packers defense was, as predicted, inconsistent. The Colts seemed to have gaping holes to run through all afternoon. The interior of the front was particularly vulnerable to the run. The Colts really favor their inside zone look, and for the most part, it worked well for them all game. The Packers inside linebackers looked lost against the run. The Packers gave up 420 yards of offense with 140 of them coming on the ground. Yet another game where the defense allows over 100 yards rushing.
The pass defense seemed to vary throughout the game. At times, the defense would read the pass extremely well and be in a good position. Other times, especially near the red zone, they seemed to get turned around and the Colts would exploit the mismatch. One example would be Preston Smith in man coverage. I’m not sure if it was a personnel issue on the field, but I don’t like the odds of Smith matched up on a tight end at all.
Crossing routes really hurt the defense in this game. Whether they be in man or zone coverage, the Packers underneath defenders struggled to have a good feel for the routes. Indianapolis took advantage, as one of their scores came off a simple drag route.
Offensively, we saw some good things, but still have a lot to clean up. The offense was clicking in the first half. Rodgers looked like he went through his progressions with ease and had plenty of time to throw. The second half, however, was hard to watch. The Packers finished with 301 passing yards with Rodgers going 27-38. On the ground, the Packers ran for a mere 66 yards. I’ll give the Colts their due; they did a great job at slowing down the run. I would have liked to see LaFleur test the edges more with jet sweeps as well as toss plays. Running between the tackles was just not there in this game.
A lot of the talk will surround Marquez Valdez-Scantling. He made three key plays in this game. First, he was able to draw a defensive pass interference at the end of the first half to set the offense up for a score. Next, he made a tremendous catch against the Colts cover 2 which helped propel the team to overtime. Finally, he had a crucial fumble in overtime which ultimately led to the Colts win. Fans have got to give MVS credit. He made some key plays today that helped get the Packers to overtime. Without the plays that he made, they wouldn’t have been there. It comes back to doing the fundamental things correctly. To me, that’s where the biggest struggles of this team are.
Make sure to keep an eye out here at Pack To The Future this week for my Xs and Os article coming out over this game. There will be a lot of things that the tape will tell us about this team. I would advise fans to not feel too discouraged. The Packers are sitting at 7-3 and leading the north. As far as I’m concerned, there is still a lot of potential for this team and this season.
Follow me on Twitter: @PackChalkTalk