Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Terrible Performance Snaps Packers' Winning Streak

Cousins Enjoying the Ambiance, Before the Carnage Started
Well, we figured out a way to watch the game from overseas.  Maybe it would have been better if we didn't, so that our only exposure to the game was through the box score.  Losing to the Chargers (previously 3-5) by the score of 26-11 would look bad enough in the box score, but it would not have conveyed how terrible the Packers looked in all phases of the game.  Teams have off days, but can you have a day this far off without starting to wonder if the team is as good as you thought it was?

The Packers could not block Jake Kumerow's big cousin, Joey Bosa (and, as someone mentioned, they have the other Bosa cousin to deal with in San Francisco after the bye week).  On defense, the "bend don't break" thing kept the Packers in the game until the second half, since they forced field goals on the Chargers first four scoring drives.  But two second half touchdowns by the Chargers, as the defense ran out of gas, put the game out of reach.  And the special teams gave up the blocked punt that ended up really sealing the deal.

To his credit, Matt LaFleur acknowledged that the Packers were out coached and out prepared by the Chargers.  That might be the diplomatic thing to say, but in this case, it has the additional advantage of being true.  The Packers finally figured out a plan that worked on offense in the fourth quarter.  It was a hurry up offense with short, quick-release passes, and it resulted in the Packers' only touchdown.  That was too little and way too late.  Maybe they should have tried that in the first half to get a rhythm going. 

Rodgers talked about focus and the team not being "locked in" after the game.  There seemed to be a suggestion that maybe arriving a day early contributed to that lack of focus, although LaFleur claimed on Monday that nobody missed curfew before the game.  But I think it is a safe bet that the team will come out on Saturday, rather than on Friday, for the San Francisco game in a few weeks.

On Sunday, the 5-3 Panthers come to Green Bay.  On paper, the Panthers are a better team than the Chargers, and they certainly have one of the league's top rushers in Christian McCaffrey.  The Packers have given up a lot of rushing yards this season, so McCaffrey can obviously pose problems.  If the Packers are not as bad as they looked on Sunday, and if the Chargers' game was a bit of an anomaly, they should come back with a vengeance and win this game.  But if they lose this game, to take a two game losing streak into the bye, it may really be time to reevaluate how good this team is.

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