Not much good here to talk about, but here it goes…
The Green Bay Packers now have the same record as the Cleveland Browns, much to the expectations of fans everywhere. While I wish that sentence was not true, here we are after week five.
Dropping a game in Detroit that was not as close as the game depicted it to be, the Packers now sit at two wins, two losses and one tie going into week six. While this game had few positive takeaways from it, there were some.
Here are some good and bad takeaways from defeat.
Rushing attack needs to be in the game plan
Does Mike McCarthy understand that the game can be two-faceted, in which the offense can move the ball on the ground and not just through the air?
While the early deficit plays into going away from running the ball, only giving Aaron Jones seven carries, Jamaal Williams six carries and Ty Montgomery four carries is not nearly enough to move some of the weight off Rodgers’ shoulders.
ARod has mentioned the need for Jones to be more included in the game plan, which means at a minimum he should receive 15 carries per game. Jones is the clear-cut top back on the team, with Montgomery the pass-catching backup and Williams the ground-and-pound option to spell Jones.
Helping alleviate some of the offensive workload from Rodgers is the right way to make this team more successful. The health of the team was a focal issue today too, but a more well-rounded offensive play call is the first step to helping this team succeed.
Injuries force youth to play big snaps
Having both Randall Cobb and Geronimo Allison both out of Sunday’s contest was difficult, pushing the pressure onto the team’s three fresh wideouts from this year’s draft.
Behind Davante Adams’ nine catch, 140 yards and one touchdown affair, Equanimeous St. Brown stepped up in a big way, hauling in three catches for 89 yards. His speed from the slot helped open up crossing routes for Adams and Jimmy Graham, and his first true test against an NFL defense (not in the preseason) turned out to be a big success.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling, thrust into his first big-time action, came through huge with seven catches, 78 yards and his first career NFL score. While MVS had recorded two catches prior to today, this was his first true test.
On the defense, Tony Brown, who was just called up to the active roster due to both Jaire Alexander and Bashaud Breeland being out for the contest, played a decent amount of snaps and recorded a key pass breakup on a third-down stop. However, to the chagrin of GB fans, Brown was called for a questionable taunting penalty on that same play, as he stood over a Detroit receiver. The penalty gave the Lions a first down and proceeded to extend the drive.
Turnovers, missed opportunities haunt team
Three fumbles in the contest, three fumbles recovered by Detroit. Four field goals and an extra point missed are the difference between an eight-point loss and a five-point victory. If you are looking for why the team didn’t take advantage of a solid Rodgers performance, look here.
Rodgers did have two of the three fumbles, so it is not like he had a perfect day on the field. His three fumbles could have at least ended up to field goal opportunities, but with how Mason Crosby’s day at the office went, that would not have been a given.
The team needs to solidify its returning ranks as well, as Tramon Williams’ call to let the ball bounce and strike Kevin King, while some say hit a Lions player first, haunted the team from the get-go. Detroit recovered on the 1-yard line, running it in next play on the back of LeGarrette Blount, and they never looked back.
With Cobb out, Williams was forced into action receiving punts, but Williams is enough of a veteran to know how to handle these situations better and give King directional clues to get out of the way. While King is also at fault here due to not being aware of where the ball was, Williams is leading that area and needs to direct King to get out of the way.
Any comments or questions about the game, or just need to rant about the loss? Leave all of your thoughts below in the comments section!뿓뿓뿓
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23