Having bookended their three wins on the year with two losses on either side of the streak, the Green Bay Packers turned in their first-ever London appearance. An avoidable loss to the New York Giants certainly sours an otherwise positive trip for Green Bay, and their lack of second-half scoring will yet again be put under the microscope this upcoming week.
Preparation for the week seemed to go undisturbed, even with the different travel schedules the team had to adhere to. Facing the other New York squad next week in the Jets, the Packers need to do their best to flush this one away and move on.
The offense for Green Bay came out swinging to start the game, scoring on four of their five first-half drives (two field goals and two touchdowns). But as has been the case for most games this year, they came out of halftime incredibly stagnant, looking like a completely different team.
Time of possession became the name of the game in the second half, as each team only possessed the ball four times. The Giants produced two scoring drives of seven-plus minutes, ultimately putting the Packers in a tough spot when it came to managing the clock.
Aaron Rodgers was relatively inefficient on the day, but his two TDs were his saving grace. Finding both Allen Lazard and Marcedes Lewis for scores, Rodgers regularly sprinkled his targets around, even though he looked Randall Cobb’s way (13 targets) the most.
19 total carries were spread between Aaron Jones (13) and AJ Dillon (6), a criminally-low amount. The game script did not call for the Packers to move away from the run, yet Matt LaFleur decided to put the ball in Rodgers’ hand more, ultimately stalling out the offense.
By not forcing any turnovers and only sacking Daniel Jones once, the defensive unit for Green Bay played down to its opponent more than it set the tone. By doing that, they played right into the hands of New York, as they relied on Saquon Barkley, with a bit of Jones sprinkled in here and there with his limited mobility.
Their run defense has been suspect for the entire season so far, but they were able to keep Barkley in check for the most part (13 carries for 70 yards). But allowing Darius Slayton (6/79) and Barkley (3/36) to burn you through the air is pretty unacceptable, especially with how Slayton was burning Eric Stokes and others in the secondary.
There really was not anything specific that this defense did well, and yet nothing super glaring stands out for what they did wrong. By allowing the Giants to string together long scoring drives, they were unable to flip the field and get Rodgers and company back onto the field.
Ultimately this was one of those games that Green Bay was in, even down to the final second, yet they never had that one play that shifted the game back in their favor. Let’s just hope that their next game finally sees them get rid of some of their shortcomings.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