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The Aftermath: Packers vs. Colts

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The Aftermath: Packers vs. Colts

The Green Bay Packers fell to the Indianapolis Colts 30-27 on Sunday.

The Second Most Important Statistic

The Packers defense came up with four interceptions during their week two match-up against the Chicago Bears, but the unit has since failed to come away with another turnover.

That streak was broken on Sunday when rookie Casey Hayward ran stride for stride alongside Colts' receiver Reggie Wayne and pulled down an interception, but on the ensuing drive, the Packers offense stalled and failed to convert the turnover into any points.

For a defense predicated on creating turnovers, the Packers live and die by forcing the opposition into mistakes. Despite multiple opportunities on Sunday, the unit wasn’t up to the challenge.

Rookie linebacker Nick Perry forced a fumble after annihilating Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, but Perry led with the crown of his helmet, drawing a personal foul penalty, and negated the turnover.

For the second week in a row, two Packers’ defensive backs collided with each other to break up a potential interception.

Tramon Williams had his second potential pick overturned by an official review. The replay showed that he allowed the pass to hit the ground after Colts quarterback Andrew Luck threw it directly into Williams’ hands.

With under five minutes to play in the fourth quarter, veteran Charles Woodson let another potential pick slip away. Instead of an interception sealing the game for the Packers, Andrew Luck and the Colts marched down the field and completed the comeback.

Injuries

Already without Greg Jennings, who was inactive with a groin injury, the Packers lost another pass catcher early in the third quarter. Jermichael Finley’s right shoulder slammed into the Lucas Oil Stadium turf after an incompletion and he was unable to return.

After the game, he assured reporters that he would be back next week.

“I’ll be back in Houston for sure,” Finley told Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

There was no post-game word from Cedric Benson, however, after the offense lost the running back to a left foot injury in the second quarter. After leaving the field under his own power, Benson was carted off the field and did not return.

ESPN’s Stats and Info quantified Benson’s absence. With Benson still in the game, the Packers averaged 6.5 yards per play and dropped back to pass 53% of the time. After he went down, the offense averaged 4.2 yards per play and was forced to dropback 77% of the time.

The defense suffered a substantial loss as well. B.J. Raji injured the same ankle he hurt in the preseason as he was being blocked away from the play. After the game, Raji was terse with his description of the injury.

"I rolled my ankle, wasn’t able to come back. There’s nothing more to say,” he told reporters.

With four starters missing, the team dwindled away an 18-point halftime lead.

It Wasn’t All Bad

After the first half, the Packers looked to be headed towards an easy victory. The team went into the locker room with a 21-3 lead, the offense was in sync and the defense was playing inspired football.

In a brutal second half, backup running back Alex Green provided the lone spark for the Packers offense. Prior to Sunday’s game, the second year player had logged two career carries for a total of two yards. After Benson left the game, Green’s workload increased.

Finishing the day with 55 yards on 9 carries, Green made his mark in the fourth quarter. The second year pro burst through a hole on the left side of the line, made a cut to his right and put together a 41-yard scamper that set up the Packers only points of the second half.

Not The Packers' Day

Simply put, the Colts’ second half was better than the Packers’ first half. Good teams win games they are supposed to win, and after blowing an 18-point halftime lead, the Packers 2012 squad is searching for its identity.

With misses from 52- and 51-yards, kicker Mason Crosby picked a bad time to miss his first field goals of the season, but this loss isn’t on the special teamer. The brunt of this defeat is on the ineptitude of the offense and defense.

Up Next

The Packers face the undefeated Houston Texans on the road next Sunday night. Green Bay hasn’t lost two games in a row since coming up short against the Lions and Patriots in weeks 14 and 15 of the 2010 season, and the Packers will look to avoid that fate as they head into Houston next weekend.

Max Ginsberg is a regular contributor at CheeseheadTV, blogs at PurplePantsGreenJersey.com and can be reached via Twitter @MaxGinsberg or at maxginsberg[at]yahoo.com.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (34) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Ceallaigh's picture

I really hope I'm off about this, but to go out in a game then say--with a smile--that he'll be there with bells on next week--makes me really worried about attitude. Someone please tell me Finley isn't treading into <em>Imma Gonna Play When I Wanna Play</em> behavior. Because if that's the case, seriously that is the absolute last straw.

Jeff S's picture

I feel the same. I wouldn't have been disappointed if the Pack would have let him go. I think he is very selfish and immature. Not much of a team player there.

Don Hutson's picture

At least when he plays Findley seems to get open. Can't hold-on after the ball gets to him, but at least he gets open.

Tarynfor12's picture

Thats by default...he has gone from the double cover 'freak of nature,YOTTO MAN' to leave him alone..just stick a hand near him and he'll drop it.

Jeff S's picture

You HAVE TOO come up with the interceptions when you get the opportunity! How many times have you seen the offenses score following a failed interception? Packers need to do some soul searching and find some heart. They haven't looked like themselves since week 17 last year.

calipackfan's picture

Is there any type of gloves that are extra sticky that Finley could use.

Rich Beckman's picture

The problem is not in his hands.

ted, of bill and ted's picture

^ truth ^

finley's problems are all inside his own head...if he would stop caring what everyone thinks and play football it would be a beautiful thing

woodson4president's picture

Im so pumped to play the texans hahaha juuuuust kidding! Watt might have 10 sacks if aaron keeps holdin the damn ball!

buckyor's picture

"After [Benson]went down, the offense averaged 4.2 yards per play and *was forced to* dropback 77% of the time."

Not sure we can claim that the Packers were *forced* to drop back. More accurate to say that the team *chose to* drop back more often.

A_Lerxst_in_Packerland's picture

I was thinking exactly the same thing.

marcopo's picture

This loss isn't about Finley. It's about a team that under-performing on almost every level. The Pack is in serious trouble. Aaron Rodgers could look up to see mediocre. Most of the 2nd half sacks were due to his hanging on too long. He missed open receivers and receivers didn't come back to help. The run game was deserted after Benson left, yet Greene seemed to be able to fill the void. Too often the pass patterns left no intermediate or short options. But the worse thing, is they kept making the same mistakes.

Rich Beckman's picture

The comments sound so familiar. We have been here repeatedly throughout the McCarthy era. It does seem likely that with McCarthy as coach we will not see a team that consistently performs at a high level game after game, season after season.

But things will improve. There is no reason not to think so. The team figures it out.

If the brief history of the McCarthy era is any guide, they are more likely to win the Super Bowl with this kind of start than by beginning with a long winning streak.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I agree with just about everything i read here. I will say that Finley is not the problem. How many drops does Nelson have? No one wants to throw him under the bus and jumps to throw Finley. Also what happened to our offense? The greatest WR group in the league? They can't get open against 4th-6th string CB's? Jones is no more then a #3. Nelson is a #2 at best. We truly miss Jennings. Ever since he has been out against Kansas City last year, the offense is not the same. If he can come back healthy and play to his level of play, the offense will be much improved. Until then they have to figure out how to better themselves.
First stop trying to go for the deep ball. Keep going with the screens, quick slants, Use more personel.. DJ Williams seemed to be making alot of plays when he got a chance. Give him more action.
Second, Everyone on the team needs to look at themselves and say they need to improve. Mostly on offense and that includes Mr. Rodgers...

Tarynfor12's picture

Have you actually compared the balls Nelson is charged with a drop to the balls Finley does drop.There is no comparison on the difficulty...Finley can't catch period.

tundraboy's picture

And when he does he goes down easy. Isnt a tight end supposed to be really hard to bring down??

A_Lerxst_in_Packerland's picture

He brings himself down half the time; can't seem to pull himself together.

RC Packer Fan's picture

I agree that Finley needs to step up. BUT Nelson needs to get blamed too.. Alot of his drops are inexcusable. Most people were saying he is a number 1 WR. 2 catches for 29 yards against a beat up and arguably the worst group of CB's in the league? I don't know how many drops he had but i know he had 2 that should have been caught in yesterday's game.
Alot of people want to talk about Finley's drops and no one wants to talk about Nelson's. I am just saying he needs to be accountable also.

kennypayne's picture

I'd be happy if Finley was traded next week, but I think it is time for Packer fans to accept Jordy Nelson is NOT a #1 NFL receiver. He drops too many passes and, without Jennings in the lineup, simply does not get that open. Indeed, since Jennings went down late last year the passing game has just not been the same.

RC Packer Fan's picture

Hopefully this game will be the turning point. Maybe they look at themselves and finally see that they have to be better and start playing better.
Offense needs to just dominate however they have to. Take your shots downfield but if defenses give you stuff underneath, take it and make them pay for it.
Defense, simply play better. If you have an opportunity to make a play, make it. Can't keep dropping interceptions.
Coaches. Stop being stuburn and be more aggressive with play calling. Offensively and defensively. If something works use it. If it doesn't work, stop trying to make the square peg fit into the round hole.

T's picture

If your offense scores 27 points a game, they are not the problem and are not inept.

Defense is the problem. It has crumbled since last year and it falls squarely on the DC whose initials ironically are also DC (Dom Capers). New personnel same issue.

Evan's picture

In a vacuum, sure. But yesterday's loss falls on the offense and the defense equally. Both played great in the 1st half and completely shat the bed in the 2nd.

Darrin's picture

Another week, another 400+ yards surrendered by the defense. This wasn't the Colts of Manning/Harrison/James back in the day - this was a rookie QB, patchwork OL, and no-name WRs besides Reggie Wayne. Every 3rd and long there's someone wide open across the middle, and yet our offense is supposed to be the unstoppable one. Why do we even bother calling it a 3-4? They never play in base, even on first down. We have two DL that can't rush, one guy in Matthews who can generate pressure, and the rest of them run around like a chinese fire drill. We can't play Cutler 16 times a season. Someone has to figure out how get off the field on 3rd down. If not for Matthews this team might be 0-5 right now.

Nerd&#039;s Laptop's picture

I'm not worried about the defense at all.

It's the offense that fails to show up consistently.

marcopo's picture

The defense has played better then we had a right to expect, given the new pieces, but leaving Wayne is single coverage most of the game? I don't think Woodson is up for premier coverage anymore. Why wasn't Williams put on Wayne?

Nerd&#039;s Laptop's picture

I like Alex Green, and I think he deserves a shot, especially if Benson can't play.

But really, he had a bunch of runs where he got nothing and then hit a big one. That's not the same as consistency.

Craig's picture

Bottom line, Reggie Wayne is not a WR that should be catching over 200 yards passing, nor should Luck be putting up those number either. Our DBs are constantly out of position leaving WR wide open. Something has to change. 27 points should be enough to win a game. Especially against the Colts.

Tarynfor12's picture

Has Rodgers played to his best..no.Last season when WRs dropped balls or ran the wrong routes,he still seemed confident they would adjust and get it right.This year he has the look of disappointment of knowing they won't do either...whether by inability or choice through disharmony..IDK but there's a look in his eyes thats never been seen before...sadness.

marcopo's picture

Yup. Rodger's looks almost bored out there. Part of his job is leadership. His head is losing games.

al's picture

His demeanor in general pisses me off. Were out there with less than a minute left and were down by three. He makes a terrible play and then i see him smiling like he thinks something is funny. Aaron and the rest of the team need to put on their game faces, stop relying on their "talent" and play with a little heart for a change. Maybe if our boys focused more on the game and less on their state farm commercials we wouldnt be looking at a very real possibility of missing the playoffs. They have no one to blame but themselves for this empty, crap looking shell of a team relying on past success.

Ken's picture

In 2009, the 4-4 Packers were left for dead. They then faced Wade Phillips and a team from Texas in a game little gave us a chance in.

#Parallel #GraspForStraws

Noshville's picture

In a few weeks Andrew Quarless should be ready to come off PUP-
If Quarless is ready to go it could put some performance urgency in
Finley's play! Secondly-BJ spot would be tough to fill long term.

A_Lerxst_in_Packerland's picture

"The brunt of this defeat is on the ineptitude of the offense and defense."

Add the coaching staff and I think that covers it pretty well. They could have tried to add to their lead at the end of the first half but didn't. No "killer instinct". They could have stuck with the balanced attack after Benson went down, but didn't. How many times do they need to observe the failure of the deep pass attack before they give it a rest and go for chain-moving, clock-eating sustained drives? Keep the defense off the field so they're fresh.

(sigh)

cheesy4's picture

Cedric Benson is lost for most of the season(if not all of it).He was one of the few bright spots.When is James Starks coming back? We have to admit our defense is one of the worst in the league.We have only had a couple of good games defensively in the past two years.We need to scrap the 3/4 defense and the zone coverage.
Its time for Capers to go I am tired of watching the Packers get picked apart by not only good quarterbacks but rookies.
MM needs to have someone else call the plays he cant make any game time adjustments and says the same thing at press conferences.He even admitted we weren't ready going into the season.
Time to shake things up before its to late.

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