DETROIT - DECEMBER 12: Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy reacts during the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on December 12 2010 in Detroit Michigan. The Lions defeated the Packers 7-3. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
There is nothing good that can be said about Green Bay Packers offense this week. It's time to bury that game ball. The best that can be said is that it was just one game. The week before, the offense played great and QB Aaron Rodgers earned Air Player of the Week honors. It might be an understatement to say that the Packers offense is inconsistent.
The obvious difference was QB Matt Flynn, who played in the second half after Rodgers was taken out with a concussion. However, Rodgers's stats weren't great either (not entirely his fault) and Flynn's stats weren't much better (again, not entirely his fault). Flynn's INT in the end zone was ugly and certainly his fault. But blaming either quarterback for a complete offensive shutdown isn't fair.
It was an awful day for the receivers, and the offensive line was badly beaten. From Mike McCarthy: "Offensively, they were in our backfield all day, we lost the battle up front. We had the two big turnovers, particularly in the first quarter, potential points on the board and three points, that’s not cutting it." How bad was it?
Packer quarterbacks dropped back 41 times and they were sacked 4 times (10%), hit 8 times (20%), and ran for it 5 times (12%). Approximately one-third of the time, the quarterback was either hit or made a run for it. There were only 15 called running plays, and they gained either negative or no yards on 5 of them (33%). Maybe RG Josh Sitton had a good game, but otherwise it seemed like there was a different Lion defensive lineman in the backfield on every play.
And all three turnovers lost them points. TE Andrew Quarless had a fumble that likely cost them at least 3 points. WR Greg Jennings had an unbelievable bobbled touchdown turn into an INT that was entirely his fault. And Flynn's INT in the end zone. Any of those plays could have been the margin of victory.
The Lions defense deserves credit for playing tough. On the other hand, it was so far from a normal game for the Packers offense, and the Lions defense hadn't impressed in their previous two home losses, that this was more about the Packers struggles than the Lions success.
More after the jump, and more on this game at Pride Of Detroit.
Great field position is wasted when Quarless fumbles after a first down reception. The next drive ends when the Packers fail to convert on another 3rd and short. The third drive ends after a five yard rushing attempt loss, and then on one of the many incomplete passes targeted at WR Donald Driver. The last offensive play of the first quarter is that interception tip by Jennings.
The second quarter doesn't start much better with another negative rushing attempt, a false start penalty, and a long 3rd down attempt that they fail to convert. The next drive turns into another 3rd and long after another penalty. The third drive of the quarter had Rodgers's 18 yard scramble that ended with his concussion. He suffered the injury, but it was his fault for not sliding on the play.
When the third quarter started and Flynn was given a little time to throw, he put together three drives in the second half that should have lead to points. The first one did, ending with their lone field goal after an almost touchdown pass to Jennings that just hit the turf a little in the end zone. The second drive is even better as Flynn moves them over 80 yards before throwing into double-coverage for the interception.
The first play of the fourth quarter starts off with a 3rd and 1 play where Flynn runs the wrong way for the handoff. The Packers need a scoring answer on the second drive, but instead Flynn is sacked again which becomes a 3rd and long that he can't convert. The final drive of the game goes for over 60 yards, but it's stalled out after they can't convert following a 2nd and 2. Fittingly it ends with another close touchdown pass to Jennings that is a couple feet beyond him.
It's all negative this week. When you only score three points, it's obvious that players are making drive killing plays, while not doing enough to move them into scoring position. Better luck next week guys.