There was a time when the Green Bay Packers had the Detroit Lions’ number.
It was as regular as the spring thaw and summer road construction. When the Packers played the Lions, it was a win.
How much of a one sided affair was this rivalry? The Packers went 17-3 in the 2000’s against the Motor City. Three losses in a decade.
In the 2010’s, they already have as many losses as they did the previous decade.
Now granted, the Lions are substantially improved over the teams they trotted out against the Packers in the 2000’s. After so many early draft choices, they should be. So one should not be shocked that the Lions would defeat the Packers.
What is shocking is the manner in which they have done so the past two times they have played each other.
These games were not just Lions wins. They were beatdowns.
Remember the Thanksgiving Day disaster last year? A 40-10 obliteration in front of a national audience? It was one of if not the lowest point of Mike McCarthy’s tenure as the Head Coach of the Packers. Nothing worked that day. The defense was non existent. The offense was pitiful. Everyone knows Aaron Rodgers was out that game, but still, the offense did nothing that day.
Now that he is back, the first game against their long time rival should have yielded some better results, right?
Wrong. Absolutely, completely wrong.
Today’s 19-7 loss was not so much a loss, as it was an eye opener. An eye opener as to what this team may actually be: a very average team.
Where is the Aaron Rodgers of years past? Has someone replaced him with an imposter through the first three weeks of the 2014 season? It can be the only explanation for the poor start he is off to. Of course, an imposter may have been better than the 16/27 for 162 yards Rodgers put up against a Lions secondary decimated by injuries.
It doesn’t help when Jordy Nelson seems to be the only WR Rodgers has any confidence in right now. It also doesn’t help when he seems to be locking onto Nelson on every single play.
It is almost as if he has to lock onto him, since Randall Cobb can’t seem to get open anymore. That, and Jarrett Boykin apparently forgot how to catch.
Luckily the Packers have a TE who can really stretch the field on a regular basis. Oh that’s right…
Good thing the Packers can had the rock to Eddie Lacy to carry the load when the offense is struggling. Or maybe not…
With all of the individual just listed above, there is NO reason the Packers should have mustered a total of 223 yards against a Lions team that is good, but definitely not on par with the 1985 Bears.
That yardage total is what the Packers used to get in halves, not full games.
There is something very wrong with the Packers offense right now. The passing game is out of sync, and that is putting it mildly. There is no running game, at not least not like we expected with the trio of Lacy/Starks/Harris. Play calling has been suspect.
At the end of the day, the players need to execute like they have in years past. The years where the Packers offense was one of the best in the league. A level that was expected, and can be achieved again. It better, or else this season could start to get out of hand.
If this is the nadir of the Packers season, it is a good thing it came early in the season. Things can’t get much worse than they did today, in particular on offense.
John Rehor is a writer at PackersTalk.com.
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio. ---------------------
He can also be heard as one of the Co-Hosts of Cheesehead Radio.You can follow John on twitter at jrehor or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.