The Green Bay Packers face their first division opponent since week two as they head to Michigan to take on the Detroit Lions. On a four-game skid, this matchup against the Lions looks to be a promising one for the Packers as their struggling offense faces a defense that is 31st in the league in points allowed. For the defense, they face an offense that is 4th in the league, another tough challenge even with the Lions trading TJ Hockenson. With Allen Lazard, David Bahktiari, Christain Watson, Elgton Jenkins, and Preston Smith all active today for the Packers, the Packers are in prime position for a bounce-back game, a game that is a must-win if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive.
New week, same story. Once again the Packers offense struggled to find paydirt, even against one of the worst defenses in the league. While they were able to move the ball, when they got to the redzone they faltered. Rodgers threw a pair of red zone interceptions for the first time in his career, and would go on to throw a third interception in the 3rd quarter, his 5th career game with three interceptions. The Packers would be shut out the first half and would be held scoreless until Rodgers would find Allen Lazard for a 20-yard touchdown grab. They would fail the two point conversion attempt; however, and a 25-yard Mason Crosby field goal would be the only points the Packers could muster against a defense that gave up an average of 32.1 points per game coming into the week.
The defense played a pretty solid game for the most part. Jaire Alexander would bait Goff to throw him an interception in hopes of helping to shift the momentum, only for Rodgers to turn it right back over the ensuing drive. Dumb penalties would really hurt the Packers defense when they could not afford to take them. Despite this, the Packers defense would only give up two scores. However that was clearly too many as only nine points from the offense would mean the Packers would drop their fifth straight game to the Lions 15-9.
Players of the Game
- Romeo Doubs limped off after the first offensive play and was later carted off to the locker room, he was questionable to return with a leg injury. He did not return to the game.
- Jon Runyan Jr left the game on the first drive, but returned.
- Eric Stokes suffered a leg injury early in the first and was ruled out the rest of the game.
- David Bahktiari was questionable with a knee injury and subbed out with Zach Tom. He returned on the final drive.
- Rashan Gary left the game with an injury.
- Aaron Jones went to the locker room in the 3rd quarter with an ankle injury
One thing that really stands out from this game is the amount of injuries they sustained in this game. They lost Doubs the first play on offense, Runyan for a brief period of time shortly after, Stokes would go down the following drive, and late in the game when they needed them most, Gary and Jones would go out with injury. The Packers have no real control over these injuries and it’s clear they struggled with these losses.
The severe under utilization of Aaron Jones grows more confusing with each passing week. Prior to being hurt late in the game, Jones had a mere 11 touches. Only six total touches for your best player is NOT a recipe for success in this league, and it absolutely baffles me that Matt LaFleur or whoever is calling plays flat out REFUSES to utilize him. After last week where Jones absolutely gashed the Bills every time he was given the ball. While last week they were playing from behind from the get-go, there was no excuse to open the game up by giving the ball to Jones. At this point he IS the offense, the offense NEEDS to run through him, and it’s incredible they don’t use him.
Rodgers played terribly today, throwing three interceptions, only one touchdown, and a 53% completion percentage. Yes it is hard to perform with a limited arsenal, I still don’t know why Samori Toure isn’t starting over Sammy Watkins at this point, but every single one of those interceptions was on a poor throw. Not only that but he underthrew Toure on a gimme touchdown that would be broken up. Rodgers has not looked good as of late and he needs to play better if the Packers want to start winning games. While he did play badly, he didn’t quit on his team, and he proved that by choosing to run it himself on a 3rd and 17 to convert it. I admire his perseverance, but he needs to play better.
The season is on the brink of being over with the Packers being 3-6 heading into the back half of the year. It would take a vintage Rodgers run-the-table moment to save the Packers season, something I’m not confident the Packers have in them at this moment. There are simply too many injuries and issues on offense for them to overcome.
The Packers host the Dallas Cowboys (6-2) next week to begin another tough stretch of games.