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Cheese Curds, 9/24: Packers searching for answers after forgetting fundamentals

Drops, penalties, and poor tackling were the name of the game on Sunday, and it’s no time to be trying to figure out the basics of football.

Green Bay Packers v Washington Redskins Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers seemingly forgot how to play football on Sunday in Washington. That was head coach Mike McCarthy’s message in his post-game press conference, more or less, as he harped on the team’s poor fundamentals as the primary reason for the team’s 31-17 loss.

It’s tough to argue that point. On defense, tackling was abysmal for much of the game and players were taking poor angles to Washington’s ball-carriers. On special teams, penalties galore robbed the team of field position. And on offense, holding penalties were numerous but ball security was the biggest issue. Randall Cobb coughed up three separate drives with two drops and a fumble, while Lance Kendricks dropped another ball on an easy third down conversion.

Furthermore, next week’s opponent no longer looks like a gimme. The Buffalo Bills, a 17-point underdog on Sunday, went into Minnesota and trounced the Vikings 27-6. The Bills’ pass rush sacked Kirk Cousins four times, forcing three fumbles (recovering two) and an interception. Green Bay needs to solve its issues with the basics of the game in the next six days or else the season could be in serious jeopardy despite the team’s seemingly favorable early schedule.

Shaky outlook for battered offensive line |
With what Buffalo’s pass rush did to Minnesota on Sunday, having a competent offensive line in front of Aaron Rodgers next weekend will be critical. However, with injuries to Bryan Bulaga and Justin McCray, the status of the line is very much in question.

Packers’ backfield at full strength with returning Aaron Jones |
Jones received fewer snaps than Jamaal Williams or Ty Montgomery, but he had more carries than either of the other two backs and he showed why he is the team's most talented and explosive runner.

NFL executives, coaches question why some penalties aren't reviewable |
This is one of my takeaways on these plays -- if the targeting penalties are subject to video review, why aren't some of these roughing the passer calls reviewable as well? On Sunday, the Packers would have picked up 15 yards on Da'Ron Payne's body-slam of Aaron Rodgers. At the very least, it would give the officials a chance to immediately rectify some of these awful calls.

Report: Packers ready to move on from Clay Matthews after season | Packers Wire
This has nothing to do with Matthews' recent penalty woes. Instead, the report from Bob McGinn indicates that the Packers do not plan to re-sign the veteran linebacker when his contract is up next spring.

NFL Week 3: Bills pull off huge upset and 6 other big WTF moments -
What a mess of a Sunday. Beyond the officiating issues, a pair of Super Bowl favorites lost to 0-2 teams on Sunday and we had a few of the ugliest games of the year taking place.

Jimmy Garoppolo injury robs 49ers of leader, perhaps season -
The Packers play the 49ers in week 6, but San Francisco will be down to their backup quarterback after Garoppolo's knee injury. It appeared to be at the very least a torn ACL, with perhaps more damage than that, and it happened without any contact.

Police: Man breaks into house, draws bath before arrest |
If he had taken a quick shower instead, maybe he would have gotten away before the police arrived.