Monday, September 23, 2013

Recap: Packers Lose A Crazy Game In Cincinnati, 34-30

After watching this game, I gave up on watching football for the rest of the day. A game as inexplicable as this loss for the Green Bay Packers required some time away from the game. As LG Josh Sitton said, they had plenty of opportunities but they just didn't make the plays.

QB Aaron Rodgers. Early in the game, his receivers weren't getting open and his line wasn't blocking. The o-line continues to have trouble with stunts and C Evan Dietrich-Smith was overmatched on a few plays. After the line improved and the receivers started to create some separation, Rodgers had trouble getting back into a rhythm. He also couldn't get on the same page with his head coach. For him to throw two interceptions is very strange, especially the pass he underthrew down the sidelines that was intercepted by Leon Hall.

But then Johnathan Franklin has a huge game (pre-fumble). He got a lot of help from his blockers, but he made also made a lot of great moves in the open field. As for the fumble, it was dumb luck that the Bengals were able to return it for a touchdown. Forcing a fumble is a skill, but recovering one fumble, fumbling it again, and then recovering a second fumble on the same play, is a fluke.

As I was watching the game, I wanted them to run it on fourth down. The defense was definitely missing LB Clay Matthews in the second half, and kicking a field goal to go up by six points doesn't help if the Bengals march down for another touchdown. For Franklin to fumble in that situation is just inexcusable since ball protection should be his priority. Let the line get the push (they didn't anyway) and he should make sure he holds onto the ball.

Missing Matthews. The Bengals didn't have the ball on offense a lot after halftime, but they did score touchdowns on two of their four second half possessions. This was after the defense allowed only 37 yards on the Bengals' final six possessions of the first half. During that impressive streak, Matthews forced two fumbles. In the second half, the Bengals didn't turn the ball over once. Maybe all it would have taken was one big play from the Claymaker to turn it around. Apparently he thinks his hamstring injury will be just fine, and he'll get the bye week to make sure.

And this wouldn't have been a close game if WR Jeremy Ross hadn't completely botched his first kickoff attempt. Plus he gave me a coronary when he almost touched it before it went out of bounds at the two yard line on another. I'd give him a pass on one game, but he made bad decisions in their loss against the 49ers and now he makes a critical turnover. If CB Micah Hyde can provide a boring 20 yard return every time with sure hands, I'd hope they switch from Ross to Hyde as soon as possible.

It's going to be a long bye week.

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