Well, at least it ended up being a close game for the Green Bay Packers, probably closer than a lot of people thought it would be. Heading into Buffalo to face the really good Bills and Josh Allen is a recipe for disaster, especially for a team that has been struggling like the Packers have.
Their 27-17 Week 8 loss was somewhat expected, especially by Vegas (BUF -10.5), but kudos to the Packers for actually putting up a fight and keeping things close. Heading into their Week 9 matchup with the Lions holding a 3-5 record, we are getting extremely close to the ‘put up or shut up’ part of this season.
Things started on a bad foot for the offense, as Elgton Jenkins was ruled out after pre-game warmups with a foot injury. With Jenkins out, it was a good thing that David Bakhtiari was able to play, otherwise, this unit would have played a lot worse than they actually did.
Aaron Rodgers was under all kinds of duress in the first half, never looking comfortable on dropbacks. But with more attention paid to running the ball, that helped open up plenty of opportunities for Rodgers to finally connect with his receivers.
Romeo Doubs made a few highlight plays, none better than his spinning 19-yard TD grab to get the Packers on the board. After high-pointing the ball, Doubs was able to make an adjustment, turning around just as the ball arrived and hauling in an off-target throw from Rodgers.
Fellow rookie Samori Toure caught his first career TD tonight from Rodgers, as he got behind the defense for a 37-yard scoring connection. After a bad first half, Rodgers was able to put a few things together in the second half, producing an alright stat line on the night.
A heavy reliance on the running game was key to getting back in the game for the Packers, as Aaron Jones (20 carries for 143 yards) and AJ Dillon (10 carries for 54 yards) both helped wear the Buffalo defense down. Jones found quite a few large holes in the defense, and his heavy involvement in both the rushing and passing games was a much-needed addition.
The linebacker group was a sight for sore eyes Sunday night, as a questionable ejection of rookie Quay Walker after pushing a Buffalo staff member on the sideline and an injury to DeVondre Campbell made his group very light on both talent and depth.
The secondary had its shutdown moments, including two interceptions of Josh Allen, but they also allowed too many big completions to Stefon Diggs. Chippiness was the name of the game too, as both Jaire Alexander and Diggs were constantly chirping at each other, something that began when they both ran out of the tunnel pre-game at the same time.
Holding Allen to under 250 passing yards is a big-time win for this Packers defense, but they were gashed on the ground again. Overall they did a fine job keeping the solid BUF offense in check, but too many chunk plays derailed any sort of progress at all the wrong times.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