After three weeks of dominant performance, the Green Bay Packers defense talked a big game and rightfully so. For the first time in forever, the Packers had a defense that could carry the team instead of being an albatross.
If Green Bay could shut down Carson Wentz and a potent Philadelphia Eagles’ offense, the defense would have cemented the reputation it earned in the season’s first three weeks.
Now, after a 34-27 loss, they’re having a serving of humble pie.
Sure special teams didn’t do them any favors with allowing a long return and a boneheaded out of bounds kickoff by Mason Crosby, but the defense couldn’t stop Jordan Howard nor could they generate any kind of pressure on Wentz, who did not get sacked all game.
With the Dallas Cowboys up next, the defense will need to regain its mojo and figure out a way to stop the run or Ezekiel Elliott is going to not just eat but basically have a buffet set up in front of him.
This is now defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s challenge. How will his squad respond to getting punched squarely in the jaw after three weeks of looking like a championship defense? The Packers did play against fairly subpar quarterbacks until last night and if the Packers struggle against Dak Prescott, the same questions about the defense will begin to surface again and the team doesn’t need that as the offense continues to get its footing.
The Packers are still 3-1. They weren’t going 16-0. How this defense and really the entire team respond to this loss will go a long way to determining who the 2019 Packers are.
Now onto today’s curds.
The defense sounded a defiant tone after last night’s loss and how well they adjust going into Dallas will go a long way towards figuring out how good the defense is. Elite defense shut down elite offenses and they’ll get their second chance next Sunday.
This isn’t to say the offense didn’t struggle either. Matt LaFleur came under heavy scrutiny for four straight passes at the goal line that could have tied the game. At least one of those plays should have been a run for certain but LaFleur thought he’d catch the Eagles off guard in a situation where Aaron Rodgers is usually money. He didn’t and Rodgers wasn’t.
Everyone agrees this was a major non-call yet the NFL stands by the decision. “What is pass interference?” officially now joins “what is a catch?”. What a clown car the NFL is.
Congrats to Rodgers, who moved further up the top ten in all-time touchdown passes. If there was one thing that was positive that came out of this game it’s that Rodgers looked more like his old self and the offense was much more in rhythm.
More like Wine-ie the Pooh am I right?