Although it was a close loss, it sure felt like the team was outmatched. A major disappointment. To keep the positive going first, there was some good news:
- Two INTs by CB Charles Woodson, one returned for a TD, in the first half. The 1st INT led to a TD too. Although RB Ryan Grant had a fumble, it was in Cincinnati territory, so they had to go the length of the field for their TD off a turnover. The Packers got two TDs on 14 offensive yards, and it kept the game close.
- QB Aaron Rodgers completed 21 passes for 261 yards to seven different receivers. With the run offense stalled for most of the game, he was their offense. His 43 yards rushing were late in the game, but key to setting up the final FG drive which kept the rally alive.
- The return of the 2008 run defense. This might have not seemed like their biggest sin, but 141 yards rushing for RB Cedric Benson, with no run greater than 14 yards, is a major step back. They always got a nice gain on 1st down and it was unexpected after a physical, dominant performance last week against the Bears. Why wasn't NT B.J. Raji in their at all?
- The pass blocking. Last week, it was RT Allen Barbre who had an awful game. This week it was LT Chad Clifton, and backup LT Daryn Colledge, who turned DE Antwan Odom into the new Reggie White. In their defense, Rodgers was holding the ball too long as the Bengals pass coverage was good. He isn't feeling the rush, and reacting to it, as well as he did last season. Still, the pass protection has been unacceptable after two games and has become a major problem.
- Special teams gave them a chance when CB Tramon Williams recovered the onside kick, but the two great returns by WR Quan Cosby were horrible. The special teams has been inconsistent to say the least.
- Converting on 3rd and 34. That probably deserves it's own post.
- Injuries, injuries, injuries, from the Press-Gazette. TE Donald Lee walked off on his own power after a shot to the ribs, but Clifton was carted off and S Nick Collins had a shoulder injury. Collins's shoulder looked dislocated, but I don't really know. Clifton might have a serious ankle injury. We won't probably know until late tonight, early tomorrow.