2019 Week 12 - That's What Cheese Said

Outcoached and outplayed, the Packers locker room knows this performance simply wasn't good enough. 

Green Bay suffered its most devastating loss of the season in San Francisco, falling to the 49ers 37-8. The Packers now sit at 8-3 on the season, sliding to the third seed in the NFC. There’s plenty of blame to go around, and no one in the locker room is shying away from it. 

“Disappointed with myself. How we got outcoached, and we got outplayed. Bottom line. It’s unacceptable,” said first-year head coach Matt LaFleur at his post-game presser. 

Outcoached and outplayed is one way to put it, with the Packers struggling in virtually every statistical category on Sunday night. The Packers went 1-of-15 on third downs, put up less than 200 total yards on the day, and averaged an abysmal 2.8 yards per gain offensively. 

On special teams, the Packers had a net punting average of 34.8, over 10 yards less than the 49ers. Green Bay also lost the turnover battle in San Francisco, with the 49ers forcing a fumble early in the first quarter and recovering the ball at the two-yard line to set up their first touchdown of the night. 

“There’s a lot to correct if we want to be the team that we want to be,” said LaFleur. “There was a lot of stuff today that was concerning, quite frankly.”

On offense, quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for only 104 yards on 33 attempts, taking five sacks for a loss of 38 yards. No receiver topped 50 yards on the night, with Davante Adams tallying 43 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions. Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones combined for 83 yards on the ground, but neither had more than 13 rushing attempts all game. 

“We’ve got two great running backs. We’ve got a lot of fire power on this team to be in the position that we are after today,” said Adams. “Still in a good position in the big picture, but what we’re chasing and what we’ve set out to accomplish, today is definitely not good enough.”

Center Corey Linsley agreed, acknowledging the offensive line’s struggles against San Francisco. Beyond the game’s score, perhaps the worst loss of the night came when right tackle Bryan Bulaga exited the game with what’s now being diagnosed as an MCL sprain, meaning he’ll likely be week-to-week for the next few games. 

Even after a disappointing loss that seems to lack any type of silver lining, the locker room knows where it needs to go from here. 

“I feel good about our culture, but we’ve gotta improve on offense and set the tone a little bit better than we did,” said Rodgers. He also emphasized the lack of running game in both California losses. 

“I think the games we’ve gone out and played well on offense, we’ve had a good run game. So they shut us down for a good part of the night running the ball, we couldn’t really throw worth a you-know-what either.”

LaFleur also echoed the need to get better in third-down situations. Settling for third-and-long is no way to live on offense, especially when a lot of those long-yardage situations are self-inflicted from penalties. 

“That’s what’s really hurt us this season, is when we get in those ‘get back on track’ situations, we have a hard time digging ourselves out of that hole,” LaFleur said. 

Defensively, the Packers held the 49ers off for as long as possible before explosive plays told the story yet again. 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw 14 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns, giving him a passer rating of 145.8. He had two completions over 40 yards (61 yards to George Kittle and 42 yards to Deebo Samuel), and both went for touchdowns. 

“We’re competitors and we want to be able to show our true self, and I don’t think today was our true self,” Blake Martinez said. 

Three separate 49ers players averaged over 20 yards per reception against Green Bay, and the team average on the night was 18.1 yards per completion. 

“I know one thing. It leaves a bad taste in all of our mouths,” said linebacker Za’Darius Smith who was responsible for 1.5 of the team’s three total sacks on the night. “We’ve just gotta go in tomorrow, watch the film, and see what we did wrong. I think we got out-coached and out-played by this team.”

The 49ers also averaged 5.1 yards per carry on the ground, with a long of 25 yards. 

“We’re not far from where we want to be, but we got a lot of work to put in to be the team we want to be and to leave a mark like we want to leave a mark as a team,” said Preston Smith. 

“The best teams I’ve been a part of have been player-led. I’m confident that we have the guys in this locker room to lead and make sure we’re all looking at ourselves critically, because we’re all accountable to one another,” said LaFleur. “If we want to be the team that we want to be, and I think that we can be, then we’re gonna have to clean up some things.” 

The Packers still have a favorable schedule down the stretch, playing only one team (Minnesota Vikings) with a winning record in its final five games. An 8-3 record still keeps them in first in the NFC North, and the team is still right in the mix for top playoff seeding. 

“At the end of the day, it’s only one game,” veteran cornerback Tramon Williams said. “There’s so much put into this one game because it’s two top seeds who are playing, but at the end of the day it’s one game. We’ve gotta continue and take care of business these next weeks, starting off obviously with the Giants. That’s just the way we have to do it.”

The locker room isn’t panicking yet. For Green Bay, the team’s goals are still in front of them. 

“I still like our chances. I think we have the makeup to bounce back from these kinds of things and put ourselves in a position to potentially come back here and play again,” added Rodgers.

Ideally, if the Packers do wind up back in San Francisco this season, the outcome will look much different. For now, if you ask the locker room, it’s onto the Giants and a 1-0 record in Week 13. 

 

Maggie Loney is a writer for Cheesehead TV and a podcaster for the Pack-A-Day Podcast. Find her on Twitter at @MaggieJLoney.

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Comments (49)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
zoellner25's picture

November 26, 2019 at 03:08 pm

Our special teams play is absolutely dreadful. Coulda just kept Zook

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Lare's picture

November 26, 2019 at 03:17 pm

Still the same problems week after week. That indicates poor coaching.

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albert999's picture

November 26, 2019 at 04:12 pm

Yes it does and not being willing to change personal move players around fire coaches and sit Rodgers down to set him straight on who’s boss and to start throwing inside numbers not always looking for Adams and get rid of the ball

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edp1959's picture

November 26, 2019 at 06:33 pm

Glad to hear that you are in the meetings and in the huddle to declare that Rodgers is not executing the plays that are sent it.

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Packerpasty's picture

November 26, 2019 at 04:42 pm

or...the same players not being able to perform at an NFL level...such as our UDFA WR's...and our poor TE's and our lack of ILB's that can stop the constant "open over the middle" passes from the opposition...MLF is still learning, true, but he can't coach up what isn't there...

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sam1's picture

November 26, 2019 at 04:43 pm

Makes you wonder was McCarthy that bad or was/is Rodgers! Beginning to think the latter!

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 26, 2019 at 07:25 pm

Players, not plays: no #2 wr, no ILB with any semblance of quickness, No DT to complement Clark, no TE with game-changing ability, no power running game...Lots of spots to fix Gutedkunst or your job will be on the line. The absolute void of a return game reeks of incompetence from the Pro personnel side of the ledger. Inexcusable.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

November 26, 2019 at 03:19 pm

"There’s a lot to correct if we want to be the team that we want to be.”
While I agree with MLF, making corrections assumes that with proper technique or maybe improvements in scheme, we can get a different result. I'm thinking the quote would be more truthful if he said, "We need better players and coaches if we want to be the team that we want to be,”

SF is mainly the product of going 17-47 over the past 4 years and the drafting bonanza that comes from sucking. With the Packers' typical better-than-average records we have to draft better than our position indicates we should over time, and then we need to have better coaching than the rest to get more value added. I think we did improve our off season moves over the recent past, but we are still needing to play catch up after the previous few years of drafts. On the value-added part, I haven't really seen how Shawn Mennenga is adding anything and the offense still doesn't look very fresh.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 26, 2019 at 04:10 pm

" SF is mainly the product of going 17-47 over the past 4 years and the drafting bonanza that comes from sucking."

This reasoning is often heard as to why the Packers don't get better players in the draft, and yet looking back,we would find the Packers taking the lesser player even when the better was available. If the Packers were/are a BPA ideology,then missing out on many the better player is due to poor evaluations or drafting for position is the ideology. Surly taking Watt would have been the clear BPA selection as example but we went with Position Draft....Kevin King.

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MaxPayne's picture

November 26, 2019 at 04:33 pm

Keep in mind good ol ted sat pat at the tail ends of round one never trading up using a couple of 4 or 5 picks to get into the cream of the crop. Spielman of the vikes was a master at this. Two years in a row he stole the draft. Ps spielman traded players who still has gas in the tank for more picks. We let our players go to save money getting nothing in return

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Razer's picture

November 26, 2019 at 05:24 pm

No good excuse for Ted's poor drafts. And while Spielman pulled some good picks, he has the Vikings on the edge of a cap meltdown. Not sure I want to pick the Vikes poison.

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Tarynfor12's picture

November 26, 2019 at 06:31 pm

Another oft heard excuse...the cap meltdown....it's only a meltdown if you fail to win the SB...GB is failing to win the SB even while being safe from the meltdown.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 27, 2019 at 09:01 am

Absolutely, but give San Francisco credit. Look at the Jets, they've created a whole new level of sucking for extended periods of time.

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albert999's picture

November 26, 2019 at 04:13 pm

Needs to make CHANGES

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LeotisHarris's picture

November 26, 2019 at 04:31 pm

I agree with all of this, Doug, but you came dangerously close to writing "pad level', didn't you? First MLF drops a "quite frankly", now you with a veiled nod to pad level. Seems a bit too familiar to me, and not in a good way.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 26, 2019 at 07:30 pm

Obviously.

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Doug_In_Sandpoint's picture

November 27, 2019 at 08:51 am

You may be right. Pad level...totally explains it. But MLF is a highly successful football coach.

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pooch's picture

November 26, 2019 at 03:47 pm

Talk talk talk sounds like a broken record going back to McCarthy era, we need results not blah blah blah

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albert999's picture

November 26, 2019 at 04:16 pm

Poor coaching and not being willing to change personal move players around fire coaches and sit Rodgers down to set him straight on who’s boss and to start throwing inside numbers not always looking for Adams and get rid of the ball

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jlc1's picture

November 26, 2019 at 04:34 pm

You betcha. That will definitely get us a higher draft pick this year. Let us know your plans for getting high draft picks in future years, they are bullet proof so far.
But then I suppose I have to allow for this being just a send up of some of the more hysterical comments one sees in these parts. Is it?

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albert999's picture

November 26, 2019 at 05:29 pm

Let’s hear your plan mr know it all

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albert999's picture

November 26, 2019 at 05:29 pm

Let’s hear your plan mr know it all

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JohnnyLogan's picture

November 26, 2019 at 04:55 pm

The consensus here seems to be "change personnel" but I'll bet no one expects it to happen. Allison, MVS, Graham, M. Adams, Lowry, Lancaster, Martinez, Turner, will continue to start. or at least play significant snaps., All have been far below average if not downright awful. Yet' no Sternberger, no Summers, no nothing. Same old, same old. Thinking that the players are good they've just have made a few mistakes, is blind stupidity. Eleven weeks is enough time to judge performance. And then there's STs and Gary, our #1 pick. Fire the ST coach. Make a statement. And bench Gary. He's a waste of space out there and you don't have to play him just because you screwed up and drafted him at #12 and hope he saves Gute's ass. This is a bad team right now. If MLF doesn't make changes he's not an assertive, no-nonsense coach he's a McCarthy clone. MLF has had the advantage of a honeymoon period. The team is 8-3 and in 1st place in the NFC North. That's no small feat for a first-time coach. But it's a mirage and if he can't see that he's not the man we need. Imagine Belichek, or any decent coach, trotting Allison and MVS out there week after week when they're near the bottom of all receivers in the league. Or Martinez - Hawk 2.0 but worse. Or Graham, who runs like a plow horse. This is MLF's first real moment to show he's not just a guy, but a forceful, demanding leader who expects performance or you sit. Lombardi sat All-Pros or traded them if he wasn't satisfied with their performance. Play a Lombardi tape MLF. I'm sure there's one somewhere at Lambeau Field. Get some inspiration. And then come out breathing fire. That's what we need. Not, "We're all to blame" which basically blames guys who aren't guilty like Z. Smith or A. Jones or J. Williams. You'll likely make the playoffs. Make some changes. Bench the obvious bums. See what you've got in Sternberger, Summers, Lazard, Kumerow... Do it!

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albert999's picture

November 26, 2019 at 05:33 pm

Couldn’t agree more
Fire special teams coach
Sit Pettine down and give him an ear full
Demand Rodgers gets rid of the ball throw to Jones and Williams and Vitale out of the backfield and quit always looking for Adams and throw slants to Kumerow and Lazard

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 26, 2019 at 07:56 pm

Does Pettine know what Cover Two means??

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Lare's picture

November 26, 2019 at 05:33 pm

When you concentrate your entire offense around one player- Devante Adams- then you shouldn't be surprised when opposing teams beat you by stopping that one player.

When you have below average safeties & ILBs, then you shouldn't be surprised when teams beat you week after week by targeting the middle of the field.

When your punter averages in the lower 30's, then you shouldn't be surprised when you lose the field position battle.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 26, 2019 at 09:59 pm

10 thumbs up!

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Tundraboy's picture

November 27, 2019 at 09:04 am

Now..

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RedRight49's picture

November 26, 2019 at 06:37 pm

OK, MLF gave a rousing post game speech with a bit of of fire and some brimstone.

And he acknowledged what everyone with a TV set or radio knew, he got out coached and his players got ( vastly ) out played.

Wow!

But what was his HALF TIME speech to his team, and what play / assignment adjustments were made to get back into the game
by any one of the coaches?

Did the Pack come out for the 2nd half looking motivated, angry and ready to fight for yards, points and turnovers?

Were they breathing fire, looking for redemption?

Work on your half time motivational speech or maybe just get in a position groups' face that not doing it's job while there is still
30 minutes left to rectify a bad 1st half.

I understand and accept there are better teams and my favorite team can't win 'em all but at least play with some fire and grit.

The Pack should bounce back next week against the NYG, but I hope I never again see the Pack get bounced around like in the 49er game!

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Lare's picture

November 26, 2019 at 05:34 pm

You can't play hard when you're soft.

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edp1959's picture

November 26, 2019 at 06:47 pm

MLF informed the reporter when they came back after half that no changes were being made, sticking to the same sh** game plan. But it was all #12’s fault.

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Razer's picture

November 26, 2019 at 05:33 pm

Maggie could have gone to the pro football cliches handbook to fashion this article. Whole bunch of guys flipping sound bites at the frustrations of a team. I get losing a close game to a better, more talented team. Getting your ass handed to you after your self-scout retreat suggests that the coaches are more lost than the players.

While I have maintained that we were another year out in our retooling, today I am not so sure. Still a lot of gaps in this roster but there also appears to be weakness on the coaching and scouting side of the equation. Enjoy the last rays of sunshine boys because winter is coming.

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 26, 2019 at 08:00 pm

Tate needed to be secured at the trade deadline. Now they are exposed, again, against four man fronts and max protection schemes. MVS cannot pull it off.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 27, 2019 at 09:10 am

Golden Tate? And now we will get to see him against the Giants. Gee, I wonder what will happen?

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ShooterMcGee's picture

November 26, 2019 at 06:03 pm

We went from contenders to pretenders. There is no way we win a rematch in the playoffs. The 49ers have much more talent on both sides of the ball. Coaching had little to do with it. As Nagler often quotes Tyson "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."

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Lphill's picture

November 26, 2019 at 06:16 pm

Special teams coach should be the first to go.

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Tedlyflyfisher's picture

November 26, 2019 at 06:49 pm

Should be called the Not So Special teams.

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Packerpasty's picture

November 26, 2019 at 06:44 pm

"we have to get Jones involved more"...hey...nice..I think I heard that before from a coach who got fired partly because he couldn't or wouldn't and now here we are again...hmmm

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Handsback's picture

November 26, 2019 at 06:45 pm

If you have open receivers but don't throw it to them is it the receivers fault? Because the wideouts don't have #17 doesn't mean they can't catch a ball. Is it panic, or fear of interceptions that keeps Rodgers from hitting wideouts open in the middle of the field?
Whatever the issue.....that is what throws the monkey wrench into the offense. I hope the QB coach goes over every open receiver from the 49er game and gets Rodgers to look at his alternatives.

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edp1959's picture

November 26, 2019 at 07:06 pm

Show us proof there were receivers open over the middle. The announcers showed multiple times that no one was open. So come on provide the proof that shows what was seen on TV was wrong.

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Handsback's picture

November 27, 2019 at 09:07 am

EDP1959 if you want proof go to https://i.imgur.com/o1nB4Zb.png or Football Futures under the Packers post of: "If Gamestop was open I'd buy Madden right now" Post-Game Commiseration Extravaganza with lots of cursing at Aaron Idiot Rodgers who Screwed us from the very beginning and kept on screwing us because he can't ever throw an interception God forbid he..
Then go to page 14. The poster is Alex Green #20. Very imformative about open receivers.

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Handsback's picture

November 27, 2019 at 09:10 am

Go to Football Future under the Packers section with the post of If Gamestop...(it's a very long title). Turn to page 14 in the postings. You'll see plenty of pictures of open receivers.

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Handsback's picture

November 27, 2019 at 09:10 am

Go to Football Future under the Packers section with the post of If Gamestop...(it's a very long title). Turn to page 14 in the postings. You'll see plenty of pictures of open receivers.

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WilsonMaywick's picture

November 26, 2019 at 07:23 pm

I'm with ya Handsback but I think #12 feels he is the smartest man in the room and won't listen to anyone. Just my sense as he hasn't changed much.

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edp1959's picture

November 26, 2019 at 08:23 pm

Opinions with no proof = nada.

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 28, 2019 at 03:02 am

there are photos of eight different plays with receivers open. Well, I'd say seven or eight. It is at least evidence.

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Swisch's picture

November 26, 2019 at 09:00 pm

Way too much panic in these comments.
Yes, it was a miserable game, almost unbearable -- but we're still in good position as a team, and we can still finish strong.
There's no inevitable outcome to this season. Progress is a choice! It's up to the players to decide how we finish 2019, and especially Aaron Rodgers.
If Aaron is positive, if Aaron is determined, if Aaron is coachable, then he can lead our team to a strong run into the playoffs.
Our virtuoso quarterback has to decide if he's going to end his career upbeat or on a down note. He has to commit to getting guys involved, encouraging them much more than reprimanding them. He has to be humble enough to take coaching. He has to be a continual source of positivity that energizes the whole team.
We have a great running back in Jones and a great receiver in Adams; we have a better-than-average offensive line; we have some younger guys with real promise, including MVS, Lazard, Tonyan, Williams, and Vitale.
We also have a hall-of-fame quarterback at a crossroads in his career. He can sit on his past glory with a stubborn attachment to old ways; or he can adapt to a new era of rising excellence, and even glory, for the Packers.
Aaron, coaches are waiting to aid you; teammates are waiting to embrace you; and great fans of the Packers are waiting to rally to your side with uplifting loyalty. It's up to you. Be yourself, but the best of yourself.

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stockholder's picture

November 26, 2019 at 10:39 pm

Excuse me. But your comments about changing personal are wrong. Stop looking in the past. If the past teaches you anything, it's the packers refusal to leave the 3-4-4. It's full off bullet holes! Where's are; speed rushers? Not on the DL! We've been asking for ILBs since Bishop left. Not to mention a Woodson and Collins. And how many times has Arron Rodgers asked that the Offense reload during that time. Now to the present. The OL has hit a road block. But they were giving A-Rod time until they went to CA. The RBs have been a blessing. Rodgers was having an All-pro year until Adams came back. And be honest. Graham and Lewis still know how to play. This secondary has talent. But thinking what went wrong is the problem. Randall, Hyde , and Hayward weren't 1/2 as talented. I'll take King, Alexander,Williams, and Brown anytime. Amos isn't a LB. Why keep moving him around. The packers are getting out smarted. It's no wonder this defense is out of Control. Moving players around is the problem. They lost their confidence. And you guys have lost faith in them. The coaches have to say it like it is. This is your job. DO IT! Pettine has moved to many guys around. What did he expect?

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PAPackerbacker's picture

November 27, 2019 at 10:20 am

Pathetic performance on both sides of the ball and also the coaching staff. What happened to the offense after Adams came back? Why aren't they spreading the wealth instead of looking to one player? It worked well when Adams was injured on the side line. It will work again. Was this just a bad performance or is it a trend? With their best receiver on the field the Packers should be able to score more points not less points. The Packers were definitely out coached.

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