It was Sunday afternoon after the first loss of the season. Losing to the Redskins 28-17 on a disgustingly rainy day in Washington, DC. Once again Clay Matthews’ clean tackling was flagged and the flaws of the Packers were shadowed once again. Don’t believe me? Listened to Packers postgame where the first thirty minutes were nothing but Matthews…Matthews…Matthews. It was like a Brady Bunch episode with Jan being jealous of Marcia again.
Luckily, I saw it differently.
I don’t agree with the Roughing the Passer rule, I think it takes away another aspect of playing defense in the National Football League, but again.
That’s not why they lost the game.
In the first quarter, Redskins quarterback Alex Smith faded back and aired it out to wideout Paul Richardson for the touchdown. A rolling of the eyes and annoyance as safety Kendall Brice had zero idea where the ball was in the air looking like Stevie Wonder out there. How about in the first half when the Packers rightfully were flagged three times in ONE DRIVE? That stench of the generic Capers-style defense was there.
Davon House was slow and then banged up. House was put on the injured reserve this week and led to general manager Brian Gutekunst to make a un-Packers-like move and brought in stout free agent cornerback Bashaud Breeland. According to ESPN.com, Breeland was looking for a home after a three-year deal worth 24 million dollars with the Panthers was torpedoed after failing his physical due to a cut on the back of his foot.
Breeland was a bargain with low risk, the high reward being splashed across the page. Breeland told ESPN.com that he has a way to go, “I lost a lot of ball. I lost OTAs and I lost camp to get better, so right now I’m just trying to take it all in. I’ve got a chip on my shoulder because I want to come in and step into that role of being the player that I was.” Breeland’s craft includes ball-hawking skills and ability to make man to man a pain to deal with. 19 pass deflections in his career for the four-year starter.
With hope, comes uncertainty.
Mark Eckel and I were talking about on the Pack a Day podcast about the amazement of Bryan Bulaga’s recovery from a torn ACL, a list of lower-body injuries including his hip and ankle as well. This…is not good. This time he left the Redskins game with a back injury. Packers fans saw it enough with Josh Sitton with his multiple back surgeries (speaking from experience, it is never cured, just long-term temporary solution). Then Justin McCray is unlikely to play this week with a shoulder injury. Which means a day before the month of Halloween, Packers fans may be spooked with Byron Bell at right guard and if Bulaga doesn’t go. The Jason Spriggs experiment would be on it’s third try and against a resilient and reborn Bills defense that held the Vikings to six points.
However, it is better to have these issues earlier in the year than against teams like the Rams. If the Packers can get through the Bills at Lambeau on Sunday, then all they got left is a trip to Detroit and the Garoppoulo-less 49ers. But, if they lose Sunday…well then I may need to find my Halloween costume early…preferably one with a smile.
On to Buffalo.
Jake Turner is the host of the passionate Turning Points podcast on iTunes and co-host with Mark Eckel on the Pack a Day podcast. Follow him on twitter at @JakeTurnerSport Instagram: jaketurner61.