I know that usually an article would come out immediately following a game. However, I needed a couple of days.
I needed a few days to get over my disappointment. I needed a couple of days so that when I did start to write this article, I wasn’t doing so from a place of anger.
Mostly though, I have just been bummed out.
If this were my usual Green Bay Packers article, I’d go through Sunday’s game. I’d break it down a bit, with a little bit of my own analysis of what went wrong and what went right. Sadly, it really doesn’t matter. With two weeks left in the regular NFL season, the Packers have been eliminated from the playoffs.
An injured Aaron Rodgers pulled Green Bay out from under a 20 point difference against Chicago.
This amount of emotion should not be knocking at Green Bay’s door this early in the season. The Packers narrowly escaped a loss on Sunday night at Lambeau, after the Chicago Bears led the game 20-0 up until the 3rd quarter.
The Packers had a rough start to the game. The defense failed to perform at top level and allowed Chicago to score early in the 1st quarter. The offensive line had trouble protecting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who in turn took a while to warm up to his new offense, one that doesn’t include longtime Packers wide receiver, Jordy Nelson. There were a few passes Rodgers threw to former Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham that had Nelson’s name all over them.
It’s been quite the week for Packers fans! Green Bay traded back up quarterback Brett Hundley to Seattle on Wednesday, meaning DeShone Kizer will be the No. 2 quarterback this season. In the trade, the Packers received a sixth-round draft pick for 2019.
If you’ve been reading my articles the past few seasons, you know how happy this makes me! I have never had much confidence in Hundley. His lack of consistency has always frustrated me. Perhaps he can perform better for the Seahawks.
Packers fans hoped he’d learn from QB Aaron Rodgers, but maybe he will work more effectively under QB Russell Wilson. They are a bit more similar in their game-play. Though Kizer went 0-15 last season as a starter in Cleveland, I’ve always wanted him to win the No. 2 QB job in Green Bay. I feel like once Kizer was added, the writing was on the wall for Hundley.
It’s always nice to end the home preseason games 2-0. What’s even nicer? Watching quarterback Aaron Rodgersreturn to Lambeau Field for the first time in almost a year. And because he’s Rodgers, it only took him one play to connect with tight end Jimmy Graham for an 8-yard score.
“Happy to get in, be productive and get out,” Rodgers said post-game. This may be the only time we’ll see Rodgers during the preseason and I’m more than OK with that. A healthy Aaron Rodgers is one of the biggest threats to opposing teams.
What else did we learn in Thursday’s game? Let’s take a look:
Green Bay might have a solid cornerback for the first time in a while this season. The Packers’ pass defense has been hurting, but with two offseason pickups, they may have a better chance this year. On Thursday, both free-agent addition defensive back Tramon Williams and rookie cornerback Josh Jackson returned interceptions for touchdowns.
We had two weeks to recover and get prepared for this next rollercoaster ride with our beloved Seahawks. In those two weeks, I was able to come to the certain conclusion that we are never going to enjoy a predictable win. The first half was proof of my hypothesis about the season so far. The most glaring example was our five-minute flounder in the red zone which ended in zero points.
Going into halftime, the Seahawks left at least 14 points on the field because of key drops. Tight end Jimmy Graham was the culprit of two dropped passes including one in the end zone. Running back Thomas Rawls dropped another with the open field in front of him. Penalties by the offensive line stalled the drive, with guard Germaine Ifedi, committing three. The only turnover of the half by Rawls resulted in a touchdown by quarterback Eli Manning to tight end Evan Engram. Cameras showed a sideline exchange between wide receiver Doug Baldwin, offensive line coach Tom Cable, and quarterback Russell Wilson although later the situation looked like all had cooled off.