You just can't make it up anymore. The Packers keep finding ways to lose close games.
In the last eight games, they've been outscored by a combined total of 6 points (194 to 200). But their record is 1-7. That's just amazing.
The special teams were the reason they lost (I'll get to that below) but first I'll focus on surrendering a big lead. The Packers have won every game this season when they've led by more 10 points or more; until the Monday night game at Chicago. That was their new, exciting, way to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.
|Game||Lead > 10 points||Result|
|Week 1 vs Minnesota||17-6||Win|
|Week 2 at Detroit||Multiple times||Win|
|Week 6 at Seattle||Multiple times||Win|
|Week 7 vs Indianapolis||17-7||Win|
|Week 11 vs Chicago||14-3||Win|
|Week 16 at Chicago||14-3||Loss|
At Football Outsiders, they tried to speculate how the Packers will lose at Chicago. The suggestion was to lose on a kickoff return for a TD. While that didn't happen, the special teams still deserve the blame. The offense played good enough to win. The defense held QB Kyle Orton to a QB rating of 48.7 and RB Matt Forte to 3.2 yards/carry. But special teams was at the heart of this loss. From the play-by-play:
(4:54) 4-B.Maynard punts 65 yards to end zone, Center-65-P.Mannelly, Touchback. Chicago challenged the touchback ruling, and the play was Upheld. (Timeout #1 at 04:41.)
The player not mentioned above was KR Will Blackmon. He was way out of position and at the last second, he decided to dodge the ball instead of catching it. It could have hit him, or it could have been downed at the 2. It didn't hurt the Packers, but it was a bad play, and the first of several.
(9:43) (Punt formation) 10-M.Flynn right end to CHI 31 for 6 yards (20-C.Steltz, 24-M.Hamilton). CHI-92-H.Hillenmeyer was injured during the play. His return is Questionable.
Hey, it worked. I should mention the good plays on special teams too. Plus it led to a TD.
(6:21) 2-M.Crosby kicks 69 yards from GB 30 to CHI 1. 38-D.Manning to GB 29 for 70 yards (24-J.Bush, 27-W.Blackmon).
Lousy kick coverage leads to Chicago's first FG. Chicago's done nothing at all on offense, but they are only down by 4.
(13:13) 4-B.Maynard punts 42 yards to GB 27, Center-65-P.Mannelly. 24-J.Bush MUFFS catch, RECOVERED by CHI-43-J.Davis at GB 27. 43-J.Davis to GB 27 for no gain (27-W.Blackmon).
F*&king CB Jarrett Bush! It leads to a Chicago TD. So far, all 10 Chicago points are possible because the Packers' special teams blew it.
(3:36) 2-M.Crosby 46 yard field goal is No Good, Short, Center-61-B.Goode, Holder-10-M.Flynn.
K Mason Crosby missed two FGs, and neither one was close at all. Unless it was a bad snap, or a bad hold, this miss was all on him.
(7:26) 7-J.Kapinos punts 33 yards to CHI 25, Center-61-B.Goode. 23-D.Hester to CHI 49 for 24 yards (27-W.Blackmon). CHI-24-M.Hamilton was injured during the play. His return is Questionable.
D*&m net punt of 9 fracking yards. It leads to the game tying TD. Maybe the run defense would have collapsed on it's own. Forte rushed for 48 of his 73 yards on this single drive. But the special teams helped in no way at all.
(:25) 2-M.Crosby 38 yard field goal is BLOCKED (96-A.Brown), Center-61-B.Goode, Holder-10-M.Flynn, ball out of bounds at CHI 23.
(11:33) 9-R.Gould 38 yard field goal is GOOD, Center-65-P.Mannelly, Holder-4-B.Maynard.
Does anyone know the last time the Packers blocked a FG?