Monday, November 14, 2016

Packers (4-5) Have Now Lost 4 of 5, Lose in Tennessee to the Titans, 47-25

The 2016 season has been a major disappointment and it continues to trend downward for the Green Bay Packers. They've just lost their second consecutive game to an AFC South opponent with a losing record and once again allowed an early touchdown to fall quickly behind by 7 points.

Against the Titans, on their first offensive play, I don't know if it was sloppy defense or great blocking, LT Taylor Lewan took out both DT Mike Daniels and FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix before RB DeMarco Murray was off to the races.
Overall it was a terrible game for the Packers. They had a ton of penalties (12 for 107 yards) and lost two offensive lineman to injuries during it (Lang and Bakhtiari) which contributed to 5 sacks. On defense, they had no pass rush and their pass coverage was a mess. And for the second consecutive week, their special teams failed with a fumbled punt return and a missed extra point. The offense spent the first couple possessions trying to run the ball while Rodgers was out of sync with his receivers and were down 21-0 by the end of the 1st half.

There's plenty of blame to go around, but the pass coverage was the worst of it. They have to blitz to get a pass rush (where have you gone Nick Perry?) but both CB Demetri Goodson and Quinten Rollins have been a bust as the starter opposite CB Ladarius Gunter. While Gunter is getting better, (he's still had the occasional bad game) Goodson and Rollins are getting worse. The defense is playing some zone coverage to try and help, but that doesn't work when the quarterback has time to throw. There is the hope that the defense could turn it around quickly if both LB Clay Matthews and CB Damarious Randall could return next week.

As bad as they played in this game, they almost got back into it. During the 4th quarter, they were losing by 16 points but driving at the Titans' 41 yard line with 12 minutes to go. On 4th down, TE Richard Rodgers dropped a pass he should have caught for a 1st down. If they could have kept it going and scored a touchdown, they could have cut the lead to one possession with plenty of time remaining.

With an 8-8 finish the most likely scenario for the 2016 Packers, I'd normally consider this a lost season and they should start working in earnest on their college draft scouting. But the Vikings keep losing (4 in a row) and now the Lions are in 1st place in the NFC North with a one game lead over the Packers and a tie-breaker advantage over the Vikings. All three teams are majorly messed up in a one way or another. The Packers haven't been encouraging to watch over the past few weeks but if they can turn it around at any point over the next couple weeks, they should still have a shot at making the playoffs.

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