The Packers fell flat during their loss to the Baltimore Ravens yesterday, falling to 5-5, while being shut out by the stout Ravens defense. They lost key starters and may not be in panic mode yet but must turn it around fast if we are to make the playoffs and see Aaron Rodgers return this season.
Positives: Through the first 5 games of the year there were an abundance of positives to take away from each game. Now just 5 games later we barely have performances that qualify as positive. The weekly positive could be given to defense, they were forced to deal with 3 early offensive turnovers and only gave up 3 points. The next 2 turnovers unfortunately led to more points for the Ravens offense but in the NFL a defense can only cover up an offenses flaws for so long. Clinton-Dix still had an interception but that was more of a very bad choice by Joe Flacco who continues to have an abysmal season with 8:10 touchdown to interception ratio. On the other hand, it could be said that the Ravens offense also struggled but the packers do not have a top 5 defense like the Ravens to lead the way and take advantage of miscues.
Negatives: Unfortunately, unlike how there was a shortage of positives to take away from the loss, there are a magnitude of negatives. Could go with O-line woes, Devante Mays fumbles, or the injured starters. This week though, I’m rolling with Brett Hundley. After yesterday’s game, Hundley now has a 2:7 TD to INT ration with an additional 3 fumbles. I know the offenses struggles don’t rest solely on his shoulders, but he must take his fair share. There were misreads on his part, he often didn’t step up in the pocket to help his tackles, he was late with throws and forced some leading to his interceptions. At the start of the season it was looking like the packers might gain a good return on their investment of Hundley, with talk we may be able to get a third-round pick in 2018 if traded. Hundley himself stating that he would like to get a first round for the Packers but now it looks like we couldn’t get a seventh-round pick for the struggling quarterback. Hundley may just need time, but unfortunately if we want to make the playoffs and Rodgers to return, time is not something we have.
Positives: I was able to wind down by the 13-minute mark of the fourth quarter, allowing my dog to distress and fall asleep.
I know the fan base has picked up society’s need to guillotine anyone they’re upset with, but I don’t think that loss means anyone should lose their job. The defense played well enough to win, Hundley audibled twice, resulting in third down conversions, and the offense showed signs of life. And if we’re being realistic, the indecisive Hundley had a horrible match up. He entered with a hurt hamstring, behind that offensive line, against the Ravens defense. The game was likely to go south. As it is next week in Pittsburg, a team who can attest that not every backup quarterback prospect pans out.
The Packers season looked over entering week 12 last season as well. I wouldn’t get your hopes up, but they’ll try to give the Steelers a game next Sunday. At the very least, expect a lot of young Packers defenders getting a chance to make a name for themselves. Montravius Adams and Vince Biegel will likely get a lot of run with the injuries to Kenny Clark and Clay Matthews.
There weren’t many positives coming out of Sunday’s 23-0 loss against the Baltimore Ravens, but one place that shined bright was the defense. In particular the run defense which held the Ravens backfield to only 58 yards on 26 attempts for a dreadful 2.2 yard per carry. The score may have looked lopsided, but that was mainly due to the turnovers in the second part of the fourth quarter. With the Packers offense being stagnant it was up to the defense to hold the Ravens in check and keep the game close. They did just that. If you were to ask anybody watching that game they would say that a 6-0 deficit at halftime as well as only a 13-0 deficit late in the fourth quarter was solely because of the Packers defense playing an outstanding game.
The negatives were glaring compared to the positives. My main negative this week was the pass protection and lack of push from the offensive line. The offensive line was unable to create much push up front and Hundley seemed to be scrambling and panicking all game long. The Ravens tallied a total of six sacks, but it could have been many more. Two plays in the game that stood out to me (besides the sacks) in this game were on 3rd and 14 as well as 3rd and 11 in the fourth quarter when Hundley had to hit his check down after only a couple of seconds because of the pass rush that was coming. The offensive line has struggled all season, even with Rodgers, but if the Packers are to change the direction of this season they will need to keep whoever is behind center upright.