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Game Notes: Packers kick themselves out of Detroit with self-inflicted mistakes galore

-- Hi, welcome to this week's dismal edition of Game Notes. I regret to be the one to write this week's column to you all after Sunday's events at Ford Field, but the important thing is that we're all in this together.

I'll take this opportunity to apologize for last week's absence of the Game Notes column -- or, to some of you, you probably took advantage of said absence and treated it like a vacation. I was in Arizona with my girlfriend's family. BUT, NOW I'M BACK. Sucks for you.

Let's... *gulp* ...dive in.

No, the Packers don't need a new kicker.

How many Tweets did I get during the game from fans of the Green Bay Packers clamoring for Mason Crosby to be released immediately after the game? Over/under is set at 10. Take the over -- and that's being generous.

Crosby is the franchise's leading scorer, and coming into week five, had only missed one field goal on the season. Of course, he had a missed PAT under his belt as well and another on Sunday. But regardless, leaving Ford Field, he added four more, which already topped his number of missed kicks from a season ago (4). ... And the season before that. ... And the season before that.

Players are allowed to have bad days. Crosby's struggles very obviously stemmed from any mental demons he was battling during the game -- I say 'obviously' because, well, he was indoors. Unless there was a gale force draft forcing its way through an open window or something, Mother Nature didn't play a factor in Sunday's debacle.

It was ugly, though. 13 points worth of missed kicks that could've helped keep the Packers in the game, even despite their turnovers.

If these problems persist and it's 2012 all over again? Sure, panic. But Mike McCarthy stuck by Crosby before, there's no reason to believe he won't do it again. You should too. The reality is, everyone was bad in Detroit. Everyone. Even Aaron Rodgers despite his stat line.

Don't be fooled -- Aaron Rodgers wasn't Aaron Rodgers.

Speaking of stat lines: From the start of the game, Rodgers was just off. He was missing throws -- some of them at his receivers' feet, some of them just downright overthrown -- and he fumbled twice, giving him five fumbles in 2018. Three of them were recovered by the opposing team.

Rodgers didn't have any sense of pocket awareness for a large duration of Sunday, and it was glaringly evident. It was almost as if he couldn't feel the rush coming, leading to his two fumbles. He was good at some points, obviously, considering he threw for his highest passing yardage total (442) in a loss since his first season as the Packers' starting quarterback. It's also worth noting he was playing with three rookie receivers in the line-up.

The Packers' offense offers shades of the 2015 team. Defense was able to hold up its end of the bargain that year -- similar to Sunday's loss to the Lions -- but the offense sputters exponentially. Rodgers has owned up to his own faults several times, even doing so in his post-game interview on Sunday. But at some point, accountability isn't enough. Players just need to... play better. That includes Rodgers.

Whether it takes him completely altering his style of play and passing up on the big play downfield for something underneath or whatever, 2-2-1 is an ugly record.

O Aaron Jones, Aaron Jones, wherefore art thou Aaron Jones?

At one point, Rodgers threw the ball 20 consecutive times. I get it, it's hard to keep establishing the run when you're down by 24-0 coming out of the halftime break. But seriously, Aaron Jones only had seven carries against the Lions. Granted, he did lead the running backs in carries, that number just isn't enough.

When he's averaging almost six yards (5.7) per carry -- Jamaal Williams did on Sunday as well (5.5) -- then don't take the ball out of his hands. Use it to your advantage to set up bigger plays. At one point, Jones' last carry came with 12:24 left in the second quarter. He didn't touch the ball again until there were 33 seconds left in the game. That's inexcusable.

Screw the committee. When one guy is toting the rock at such an efficient rate like Jones has been, ride his legs and see where they take you. Help open up the offense to a greater degree, especially when you're rolling with three rookie receivers.

__________________________

Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV and a contributor/analyst for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (29) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Slim11's picture

When a team like Detroit has the worst run defense and a team like Green Bay has a running back like Jones, a blinding flash of the obvious is that the running capabilities are exploited to your advantage.

But that's logic talking and I realize logic simply isn't allowed in the NFL anymore.

The TKstinator's picture

"BUT NOW I'M BACK. Sucks for you."
No, ZJ, we kid because we care.
Just a whole lotta good natured ribbing, if you ask me.

What's NOT good natured is the frustration over GB's struggles. People are miffed, and for good reason. Yuck.

The TKstinator's picture

Sorry for the salty language there: "miffed".
Emotions got the better of me.

zoellner25's picture

That first half was a complete and total disaster in every way, shape and form. MM should be embarrassed he put that product on an NFL football field

pacman's picture

None of the offensive stats mean much when Lions are protecting a 24 pt lead. They would clearly be giving receivers a little more room to avoid the big plays.

The TKstinator's picture

Agreed. The Lions' best run defense was that for most of the game they had a big lead and GB had to throw to catch up.

dobber's picture

Yep. People want to get after MM for putting #33 on the bench, but game flow made that decision for him.

nostradanus's picture

Is it the 1980's?

Bears 3 & 1 and look GREAT on Defense with a solid running game and a young QB

Packers are the same old bumbling stumbling Packers finding ways to lose

Maybe parachute pants are coming back.

The Packers have been lacking in talent for several years in which time the Bears, Vikings and yes even the Lions have been accumulating talent and are just better than the Packers.

Re-build now!

Go Brewers !

splitpea1's picture

No parachute pants!!!

fastmoving's picture

laughable…….
You mean the bears we just beat. We beat that super D with a half AR and half a game was enough.
and there are a lot of young QB, but you need a good one. not sure if the Bears got that.

the cry babies are in full force. If you believe the Bears, the Lions and the Vikes habe better talent you have no idea what are you talking about.
Check out the standings in 2 weeks………...

Not sure if the Brewers need fans like this…...

RCPackerFan's picture

Game Notes -

The refs had 3 costly plays go against GB that shouldn't have.
-The King touching the ball, which really changed the game right away
-Tony Browns taunting. Ok if they are going to call that taunting, how is a player pointing first down in front of defenders not taunting? Brown says nothing, and is looking down. Apparently you can't look at a player now?
-They called illegal shift or whatever when the Packers hurried up on a 3rd down play. Packers had a first down, but they took it away making it 3rd and long and they didn't convert. Replay showed they were set.

Thats not why they lost, but those 3 plays were big keys in the game that had an impact.

I really don't get how the Coaches are using their RB's. Williams is better then people want to give credit, but how are Jones and Montgomery not used more. Especially Jones. Jones is a guy that has to touch the ball! He got 8 snaps in the 2nd half. 8 snaps? Thats just nuts. Montgomery needs to be used in the passing game a lot more then he is. Especially when Cobb is hurt slide him into the slot more often. It shouldn't be that hard.

Barazinho's picture

The holding call on JJones on the long kick return was a bad call too.

RCPackerFan's picture

I'm getting tired of complaining about the refs week in and out, but they are having impacts on the games and in negative ways.
Not just the Packers game. I saw a terrible roughing the QB called against the Eagles which really hurt them late in the game.

I didn't see the Jones hold which wiped out a long return. There was another called on Jackson who didn't touch the guy but was standing behind him with the guys back turned towards him. It was another bad call but whatever.

flackcatcher's picture

I am to the point where I can't watch an NFL game other than the Packers. The Refs. Ugly. horrible. The NFL should be shocked at the monster they created. There is no faster way to kill an product than what the NFL has done this year.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

I agree that GB was set for an instant, but they have to be set for a full second. I didn't time it, I just remember it being snapped very quickly. Just a judgment call by the refs. It was an important call, I grant. I agree that the other calls were incorrect.

RCPackerFan's picture

They were set on that play. There are a lot of replays of it on twitter.
They were so fast getting up to the LOS that they probably caught the refs off guard.

That was a huge call in the game. They go from 3rd and long to having a 1st down to losing 5 yards and it becoming 3rd and longer.

RCPackerFan's picture

Its been brutal. Seriously has been.

These calls that they are making are changing games. Mike Tomlin was absolutely right with what he said.

Refs are not supposed to be the headline of each and every game. They are supposed to be there to monitor what is happening.

nostradanus's picture

McCarthy and his coaching staff have NOT had the team ready to play in just about every game this season.
A case could be made that the Packers should be 1&4.
The old saying with players is "it is better to cut them a year early rather than a year late" this goes for coaches too. Soon McCarthy will lose the locker room, it has already started with Rodgers calling his game plan out.
It will get worse!

Lets face facts:
McCarthy is an average coach who has wasted the talent of two HOF QB's!
One Super Bowl in 13 years with Favre & Rodgers?
Really?
The Packers are in need of a complete rebuild of this team and the firing of the entire coaching staff including McCarthy should happen swiftly upon seasons end!
The Packers will most likely eek out a victory at home against the 49ers and then go into the bye week feeling all optimistic at 3-2-1 but it will all come crashing down with a brutal schedule after the bye and the under talented Packers will finish their second season in a row below .500, think of that! Two seasons in a row sub .500
This will happen, question is will Murphy and Gute have the guts to show McCarthy the door?
FIRE McCARTHY!
RE-BUILD NOW!

stockholder's picture

Rebuild? We've been rebuilding for 8 yrs. Now. And it will be 10 more before the packers ever go to the super-bowl again. That's if you fire MM. Woodson gone. Collins. Finley Gone Raji, and hawk busted out. The OL dumps Sitton, Lang etc. Green really was never replaced. Etc. Etc. Etc. How does Crosby get a pass now? 52 guys bust their ass and you tell them this is uncharted territory? A-Rod got the Milk Farm, Hearts, highest pay Etc. Etc. and the only thing he's help fire-up is Danica. We should have 3 losses thanks to A-Rod and his new goat Crosby. What game plan? And thats the way it's going to be until A-Rod puts up and shuts up. You have players that don't touch the football. How are they to blame for fumbles. INTs. Near INTs. Until A-rod plays like he's paid. MM isn't the problem. Management is for giving away money to players that have seen better days. NO one in GreenBay is going to leave their seats because of MM. They will leave the game because the players gave UP! MM didn't F**K up that game Sunday. The ones that get the money did.

Lare's picture

Nothing is going to change in Green Bay after this game, nothing ever changes in Green Bay. Heck, even when they replace the incompetent GM they keep him on as an advisor, how's that working out? They bring in a new DC but make him stick with the same inept assistant coaches. They bring in a new OC but still keep running the same old stale plays that opposing defenses know better than the new Packers players do.

Nobody wants change in Green Bay, they just want to have another beer and ignore the problems.

12guage's picture

Seems like Aaron has too much Danaca and not enough football on his mind these days. ...just not the same player I am so use to seeing. Also this running back by committee is BS. Good backs get in a groove and will only get better as the game goes along and pulling them out only negates that. Are you listening MM!!! Mccarthy is a great ambassador for the Green Bay Packers... But we need someone who recognizes the talent on this team and the best way to use it. It's just basic common sense

splitpea1's picture

Couldn't disagree more about the RB by committee complaint. One is a better blocker and a more physical runner, the other is more electric and elusive. Let's use them both and get them involved in the passing game much more often. Jones in open space could really wreak some havoc for opposing defenses.

PAPackerbacker's picture

12gauge, If I could give you 10 thumbs up I would. You are spot on with this post.

Lphill's picture

Turn it over to Philbin and Rodgers , let McCarthy hold onto the after game dinner menu that should keep him busy. I don't think it's nothing that can't be ironed out most teams that come out of the gate fast seem to falter later on when it counts the most , we have been down this road before . I bet the upcoming Monday night game will be an offensive tsunami.

Tundraboy's picture

What's wrong with this?

crabby's picture

Tsunami for who?

flackcatcher's picture

Nice post Zach. The game was....strange on many levels. The game officials lost control, or to be more accurate never had control from the get go. Rodgers and Crosby, both failing in game, amazing, there are no other words for it. The Defense was stout, those young DB are this teams future, if the Packers can keep them healthy. The offense, shades of 2015, let us hope not. That said, with NFL rules the way they are, teams live and die because of quarterback play. And right now we are on the negative side. I hope that we are watching bad execution of call plays, and not QB 1 ego getting out of control. This one of the few times I can say, I watched a football team lose a game rather than win it.

Tundraboy's picture

Jones. Been saying that for weeks. Another I'm smarter than everyone else MM move.

KamThomps's picture

I am going to be a pedant. I apologize in advance.

"O Aaron Jones, Aaron Jones, wherefore art thou Aaron Jones?"

Wherefore does not mean "where." It means "why."

In Shakespeare, Juliet was asking why Romeo had to be a Montague not where he was.

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