The Green Bay Packers have a trend and a tendency, as I mentioned on Quick TO:SS. They get out front of their opponents with just enough offense, let their opponents get back into it, and then the Green Bay defense carries them to victory. These tendencies and trends, also come with alarming deficiencies, to which cost them their game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Let’s get this out of the way; The refs had a hand in this loss. From helmet-to-helmet hits by the Eagles that weren’t deemed egregious enough for ejection (sending Packers running back, Jamal Williams, to the hospital for a night), to flat out missed helmet-to-helmet calls, to a blatant pass interference call that was missed on the field and not overturned via replay. (What the hell was the point of making this reviewable, when you don’t overturn the most in plain sight call?) But, I’m a firm believer in not leaving a game in the hands of the officials.
I mentioned “alarming deficiencies” and they were on full display, throughout this game. The Packers could not stop the run. A deficiency that, to this point, hadn’t stopped them from winning. It did, however, let teams back into the game. Another 176 yards rushing allowed this week, has my eyebrows raised.
The Packers could not run the ball themselves. As I mentioned on Quick TO:SS, the defensive front for the Eagles would make it difficult for the Packers to run the ball. We have to give the defenses they’ve faced through the first four weeks, some credit. They are tough defenses to do much against. Outside of the Vikings game, the Packers haven’t mustered much on the ground this season. And yes, my eyebrows are raised.
Aaron Rodgers hadn’t had to put the cape on and carry the team to victory at all this season. I knew this wouldn’t be the case all season and so did he. This was the case in this game. Rodgers passed for 422 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, but also had to endure curious playcalling from head coach, Matt LaFleur. First-and-goal from the 1, four straight pass plays, four straight incomplete passes. (Later in that fourth quarter, the infamous non PI call or reversal, which ended up being the game sealing pick for the Eagles.)
There were many negatives in this game for the Packers, (I didn’t even mention Devante Adams’ toe injury.) but you knew it would happen eventually. It’s one game, but this one hurt differently. Despite the negatives and deficiencies, Green Bay still had a shot at that game. That is a positive to carry forward.
At the end of the first quarter of the season, the Packers are 3-1. Despite what happened Thursday, you have to feel good about that. Green Bay is right on track with where they want to be and are going to get better. When that happens, eyebrows will be raised for a far different reason.