By Lucy Rendler-Kaplan // @lucyRK78
New England Patriots 31 – Green Bay Packers 17
I bleed green and gold. That’s why I can say this. The Packers are imploding. They’re just not good this season. We’re more than halfway through the season and this team will not make the playoffs. And that’s not just surprising, but also very hard to admit.
Green Bay now sits at 3-4-1, (with the awful stat of being 0-4 on the road) and will have to make some major adjustments, call it run the table part deux, to have even a glimmer of hope for an extended season.
There’s no consistency to the team currently. More often than not in recent losses, Green Bay is beating itself. We saw that Sunday night. The Packers made mistakes, the New England Patriots didn’t. In stark contrast to our team, the Patriots made it glaringly obvious what a cohesive, consistent team looks like.
Were there any positives from Sunday night’s game? Of course. Wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling has proven to be one of Green Bay’s most valuable players. He caught three passes and is stepping into the large shoes left behind by WR Jordy Nelson with each game. The fact that quarterback Aaron Rodgers throws to him as much as he does shows the trust Valdes-Scantling has earned in Green Bay. I’d even like to see Rogers go to him more.
We don’t often get to put the Packers’ defense in the good column, but they (sort of) earned it this week. They were able to hold the Patriots to just 17 points for most of the game, and until the offense steps up, might be the best unit on this team.
It’s much easier to point out what wasn’t so great in this game. And again, as odd as this sounds, Aaron Rodgers belongs here. He’s just not AARON RODGERS lately. Is it the knee? Perhaps. There’s just something that’s off. He isn’t making his superhero plays we’re used to that inspires fear in opposing teams.
I’m not sure why he insists on taking the play clock down to zero almost every time. I’m not sure why so many of his throws are throwaways. Sunday night alone he had 19 incompletions. Is it the play calling? Maybe. I still stand behind saying he’s one of the best in the league, but he’s been better.
The Packers last two losses have been too great teams. The LA Rams and the New England Patriots are THE teams to beat, but that’s the thing – they COULD have beaten them. There have been sloppy mistakes that prevented us from doing so.
Rodgers summed it up after the game, when he said, “We’re hurting ourselves with negative yardage plays and missed throws and turnovers at the wrong time.”
Talk Packers with Lucy on Twitter @LucyRK78