Times are tough in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The loss of quarterback Aaron Rodgers has hurt the Green Bay Packers more than many expected and has resulted in a third straight loss to a NFC foe. The Packers most recent loss came at the hands of a well-known rival, as the New York Giants were able to beat the Packers at MetLife stadium on Sunday afternoon thanks in part to three Scott Tolzien interceptions and a big game from wide receiver Victor Cruz.
In the loss, the story stayed the same for the Packers' defense. Through 10 games the Packers' defense has forced just nine turnovers and has a turnover ratio of -6, which is third-worst in the NFC. Sunday, they faced a team who had thrown 17 interceptions on the season and had a total of 28 turnovers coming into the game.
It should have been a game where the Packers' defense, formerly a turnover machine, showed up to take the ball away from the lowly Giants' offense lead by the interception-prone Eli Manning. That just wasn't the case. Aside from a poor route run by receiver Louis Murphy in the red zone (which resulted in a diving interception by Tramon Williams), the Giants played an otherwise mistake-free game and came out with the win.
The defense played better than last week's debacle against the Philadelphia Eagles, but still were unable to come up with timely stops. When a star player like Rodgers goes down you need your defense to step up and help out the offense, but that hasn't been the case, which has resulted in the Packers' first three-game losing streak since the 2008 season.
Although the loss was ugly and unbearable at times, there was a few bright spots confirmed by PFF. Lets take a look at how PFF graded the Packers' performance.
Lang received the highest offensive grade for the Packers Sunday (+2.8). Aside from giving up a quarterback hit late in the game, Lang had a clean stat sheet and played all 54 snaps.
The guard play for the Packers this season has been tremendous. It has helped revive a running game that has been missing since the Packers won the Super Bowl in the 2010-11 season. Lang continues to play at a high level for the Packers and has settled in at right guard very nicely.
Sitton has been finding himself on this list almost every week. This week, Sitton received the second-highest offensive grade given out (+2.3). For the second week in a row, Sitton had a clean stat sheet not allowing a single quarterback sack, hurry, hit or even a pressure, and has allowed only two hurries (with no hits or sacks) over the past seven games.
Sitton's season grade is now at (+14.9) and should be a serious candidate for a Pro Bowl selection. Sitton has allowed just one sack on the year and, like Lang, has made a great transition to his new position.
Scott Tolzien: 24-of-34 for 339 yards and three interceptions. Grade: (+2.1)
Jarrett Boykin: six catches for 91 yards. Grade: (+1.1)
Newhouse got the start this week for the injured Don Barclay and it was a performance he will want to forget quickly. He was abused by Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre Paul all day, allowing four quarterback hurries and two quarterback hits. The fall from grace for Newhouse continues to get uglier and uglier on a weekly basis. At this pace Newhouse is playing himself out of a job as he is a free agent in 2014.
Just to note, former first-round pick Derek Sherrod was active for the Giants game for the first time in nearly two years, but didn't see any playing time on offense. He was in as a blocker on the PAT and field goal attempts.
Newhouse finished with the worst offensive grade for the Packers (- 3.5).
Quarless is the Packers' best run-blocking tight end, but you wouldn't have guessed that after Sunday's performance. Quarless finished with an overall grade of (- 2.0) but his run blocking grade of (- 3.0) is the most disturbing aspect of his game Sunday.
The Packers finished with a season-worst 55 yards on the ground. Some of that comes from McCarthy trying to pound the Giants defense up the middle with no success, but another portion comes from Quarless and the tackles not being able to set the edge for Eddie Lacy.
Williams played one of the best games he has played in quite a while for the Packers Sunday. In coverage Williams was targeted seven times and gave up five catches for 43 yards and had the interception. Manning had a quarterback rating of just 47.6 when targeting Williams.
Williams was also the Packers' most impressive tackler Sunday and obviously took all of those tackling drills in practice last week to heart. He racked up seven tackles, a number of those one on one in the open field. Williams finished the game with the Packers' best defensive grade (+3.1)
It appears Daniels has taken over as the No. 1 option at left defensive end, and not just in passing situations. Over the past two months, he has become a beast on the Packers' defensive line in limited action.
Daniels received a grade of (+2.7), totaling one quarterback hit, three hurries, and two solo tackles. Mostly importantly, Daniels is now receiving the most snaps at left end and only B.J. Raji has been on the field for more snaps on the defensive line in 2013.
Brad Jones: nine tackles, one sack. Grade: (+2.3). Nice bounce back performance for Jones after a sloppy game last week.
For a man who reportedly turned down $8 million a year from the Packers a few months ago, he isn't really proving to others that he is worth more than that. Raji has been a disappearing act for the Packers for most of this season and really for several seasons.
Raji finished the game with a grade of (- 1.7) which was the worst defensive grade given out to any Packers' player. He finished with just one quarterback hurry and failed to record a single tackle for the fourth time in a game this season.
There used to be a time where Raji played 80-85 percent of the Packers' defensive snaps, but on Sunday he played just 44 downs out of a possible 67 (66%). Even with Jolly exiting the game early, Raji's snap count stayed the same and C.J. Wilson was called on to play a season-high 22 snaps in his first action since week eight at Minnesota.
Keep it here at APC as we break down the Packers-Giants game, and also get you ready for Packers-Vikings part two Sunday at Lambeau Field.