Cory's Corner: Loss Isn't Concerning...Yet

The Packers looked awful on Sunday in a loss to the Chargers. But as bad as the 26-11 score looked, what was even worse was how they lost.

Green Bay had three pre-snap penalties in the first two drives and the Packers were 2-for-10 on third down.

“We never got into a real flow, a real rhythm,” LaFleur said on Monday. “In the first half, we had the three pre-snap penalties that got us back in those get-back-on-track situations, and you just get away from what you want to get done. But I thought I could have done a much better job of staying patient with it.”

The thing that really stuck out to me was the lack of offensive balance. The Packers tallied 11 rushing attempts compared to 35 passing attempts. What was the No. 1 issue that the Packers kept running into last season? Times up; the answer is offensive balance.

There shouldn't have been that much imbalance because the Chargers were ranked 31st in the NFL in rushing yards given up a game. Aaron Jones has proven that he can be a bellcow back in this league either as a true running back or as a receiver.

This loss hurts because the rest of the NFC North lost as well. The Packers could have gotten more breathing room in the division and could've also held serve for home field advantage in the NFC playoffs.

But this loss isn't as bad as it looks. The Packers came out flat, couldn't get going and didn't trust what get them to 7-1. Obviously, it helps when the Chargers can apply pressure without having to blitz.

If the Packers lose to Carolina at home, then we have a problem. There could be an issue with pregame preparation, or we could have an issue trying to shoehorn Davante Adams back into the gameplan. Sitting Adams until the bye makes sense because it gives the offense more time to get accustomed to a guy that missed four games.

LaFleur knows why his team lost. It lost because Sunday's game looked like a lunchtime recess that saw the quarterback throw it all over the place. LaFleur has proven that Rodgers doesn't need to do that to win this year. He can lean on a running game that has averaged 95 yards a game.

I wouldn't even say that the loss to the Chargers is concerning. I'm going to wait a week to say that.

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Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on "Clubhouse Live" and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn

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Comments (45)

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RCPackerFan's picture

November 05, 2019 at 06:40 am

I really hope this is one of those lessons learned types of games and move on.

This team has to much talent to play that way again! This game it just felt like they didn't show up.

What sucks about a game like this is they could have won which would have created more space between them and the Vikings. But its a good thing the Vikings lost.

I'm not concerned with what happened. If it happens again, yeah then we can be more concerned. But this team has shown up until this last week that they are a very good team. It has beat very good teams. Every year teams lose games and play like they shouldn't. Even the Patriots have those games. It happens.

Time to move onto the Panthers.

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Renllaw's picture

November 05, 2019 at 06:57 am

Every team every year seems to have this kind of game, where they just look like a different team. The concerning part for me is that the defense still looks so bad up the middle. Kenny Clark's shin/ankle must be worse than we are hearing because he is not the same guy this year. The rest of the DL is average at best. Blake is a good linebacker moving along the line of scrimmage, but man when the backs were coming right at him, he made the tackle, but 50 was taking the hit and on his back 3 yards from contact all game. We really need improvement on the interior to take the next step...

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zoellner25's picture

November 05, 2019 at 08:53 am

"Blake is a good linebacker......". There is really nothing "good" about the way 50 has been playing.

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sam1's picture

November 05, 2019 at 09:13 am

Only question can you do better?

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Renllaw's picture

November 05, 2019 at 09:23 am

Love it when folks take things out of context..... "Blake is a good linebacker moving along the line of scrimmage" Its what I said. He plays well laterally as a chase linebacker, when the line isnt helping him out he is exposed. I did not say is overall play or eval was good.

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wrm1230's picture

November 05, 2019 at 03:13 pm

Exactly. Put the tackles totals aside, defenses geared towards the MLB will always feature high volume tackles numbers at MLB. Instead, look at Martinez inability to make difference-making plays. No TFL's. No INT's. No forced fumbles (he'd had a whopping 2 his entire career). No big plays at all.

Now, the position is so thin that nobody on the current roster is better...and that's damning...but quite frankly, Martinez is not a starting level MLB on anyone's roster, let alone one with Super Bowl aspirations. He will not be back in GB next year. He shouldn't be.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 05, 2019 at 07:22 am

I wonder what club the OLine was out at Saturday night? They looked hung over, slow and confused.

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Hematite's picture

November 05, 2019 at 07:59 am

Don't the players have a curfew and bed checks anymore?

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albert999's picture

November 05, 2019 at 08:48 am

Yes they all made curfew

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 05, 2019 at 09:09 am

You can go to bed at 8pm and still be hung over the next morning.

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Guam's picture

November 05, 2019 at 07:40 am

I would like to know what happened to the O-line? I have rarely since an entire line just breakdown like they did Sunday. We supposedly have two of the best offensive tackles in the league and Bosa and Ingram ran right through them. It is not like we haven't faced good defensive lines before Sunday (Bears, Vikings, Eagles, Cowboys) and the O-line was fine. None of the O-linemen played well against LAC and the tackles were just bad.

I hope they take that performance to heart and are better prepared to play next Sunday.

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PackfanNY's picture

November 05, 2019 at 08:23 am

The worst part was their were plays that guys were just unblocked. On one play they showed a replay where I think it was Turner who looked right to an empty space and Ingram runs right by him into Rodgers face. However, even when they had a guy blocked It didn’t always work. On one play for example, Bosa annihilated Bulaga with a straight on rush that blew up the play. Bulaga needed to anchor better than that. Tough day for a good o-line. Let’s see how they respond.

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wrm1230's picture

November 05, 2019 at 03:14 pm

Tough day for an average OL. There isn't anyone on that OL playing at anything more than an average level this year. Bakhtiari included.

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4thand1's picture

November 05, 2019 at 04:40 pm

You asked the 64k dollar question Guam.

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nostradanus's picture

November 05, 2019 at 08:06 am

It’s one game, it happens every season to almost every team.
1. Watch tape
2. Make corrections
3. Throw tape in dumpster
4. Add gasoline
5. Toss in lit match
6. Move on to Panthers

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stockholder's picture

November 05, 2019 at 08:20 am

I'm Concerned. Youth vs Age in this one. Tired? Slow? Burned Out? Ambition? To much for granted? Etc. Either that OL protects Arron Rodgers, or were done! Leaders can't lead if their running for their lives. And with such terrible blocking. Even the runners were lucky they gained anything. We know the defense has problems. But Pettine is the Blame! Why can't we stop anyone lately? Their getting beat up. The secondary looks confused. The bend and don't break, is broken. And the ILBs just keep making mistakes. Every TE facing the packers looks like an All-pro. Some how the packers have reversed something. The winning pattern is now lost. Their in a world of hurt.

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albert999's picture

November 05, 2019 at 08:52 am

Gutey has to take some blame for not helping the defense at the trade deadline
Special teams coach I like but they are horrible and he needs to go or be switched to a different position coach
LaFleur needs to rail on the online for their focus and play
Pettine is not getting it done....maybe he needs to go back up in the booth so he can see what’s not happening

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packergal's picture

November 05, 2019 at 09:45 am

Stockholder,

Don't you think Raven Green's absence is one of the Ds biggest deficiencies? No matter who they play there, the end result is average at best.

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stockholder's picture

November 05, 2019 at 11:11 am

I think the biggest concern is the middle. (IlB) The secondary had to focus on run tackling, then coverage. Raven Greene was better then Sullivan and Redmond. (Both were terrible vs. the chargers)

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Tundraboy's picture

November 05, 2019 at 08:50 am

Spot on! Recess. lmao sorta.

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zoellner25's picture

November 05, 2019 at 08:51 am

I'd like to know what's going on with 69. He looks nothing like he did last year. His penalties alone are astronomical

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jlc1's picture

November 05, 2019 at 12:39 pm

yeah he is one of the most penalized players in the NFL, 9 so far. 5 holding and 4 false start. The rest of GB (other than Tony Brown who has a lot of penalties and may well lead the league in percentage of penalties per snap) is reasonably clean. This season may be most memorable for him in watching him get beaten by Flowers only to be saved by bad ref calls. He still makes plays but he sure is making a lot of errors that he gets penalized for and ones that hurt the play execution overall. Not good enough.

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dblbogey's picture

November 05, 2019 at 03:21 pm

He had back issues earlier this season, and may be having physical problems with that. Hard to figure otherwise why he suddenly is playing below his usual high level. Same thing with Kenny Clark, playing hurt.

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albert999's picture

November 05, 2019 at 08:53 am

Gutey has to take some blame for not helping the defense at the trade deadline
Special teams coach I like but they are horrible and he needs to go or be switched to a different position coach
LaFleur needs to rail on the online for their lack of focus and play
Pettine is not getting it done....maybe he needs to go back up in the booth so he can see what’s not happening

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Rossonero's picture

November 05, 2019 at 10:00 am

My initial reaction was to burn the tape, but that implies that we have nothing to learn from this game.

Nothing? Really?

It's time to face the music.

Dean Lowry and Kenny Clark are simply not playing good enough. Neither is Montravius Adams. We still -- going back to the Eagles game -- have a dire need for DT help. Sign someone off the street already, Gutekunst!

Sure, Pettine can play 6 DBs, but teams will eat up the clock by running it down our throats, keep Rodgers off the field and get our defense tired and thus, more prone to injuries and mental mistakes as games -- and season -- wears on.

We simply don't have the ILBs to compensate for our weakness on the defensive line right now. We just don't. Martinez leads the league in tackles, but is a liability in coverage. I still like him as a player, but he can be a liability at times. Whatever happened to Oren Burks too?

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Thegreatreynoldo's picture

November 05, 2019 at 10:16 am

So, who is the person or persons in the photo? It is the second article with the same photo. Does anyone know?

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Tundraboy's picture

November 05, 2019 at 11:17 am

Yes, Please step forward and identify yourselves.
You have my sympathy for enduring that game front and center.

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Lphill's picture

November 05, 2019 at 10:40 am

Mohammed Wilkerson is available this defense needs some more rotation, sill waiting to see Ty Summers, maybe use Gary or Fackerall inside as well.

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Tundraboy's picture

November 05, 2019 at 11:15 am

Agreed

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SterlingSharpe's picture

November 05, 2019 at 11:54 am

Recruit Chris Borland.
Call up Novarro Bowman.
Desmond Bishop.
George Koonce.
Ray Lewis.
Brian Urlacher would still probably cover better than all our ILBs.

Who am I missing? Is Ray Nitschke still alive?

Anyone would immediately be our 2nd best ILB.

Good call on Mohammed Wilkerson.
I read yesterday that Kenny Clark has faced more double-teams than anyone, even Aaron Donald who is 2nd. These other guys aren't doing enough, and they're causing Kenny to A) be very ineffective & B) get totally worn down already by the end of October.

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PatrickGB's picture

November 05, 2019 at 09:27 pm

I thought he was suspended? And I think that if so then his suspension is keeping teams away from picking him up.

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cheesehead1's picture

November 05, 2019 at 11:08 am

Let’s hope this game was a one-off. Time for Lafleur, and Gute to send a stern message. This is the NFL, there are no easy games. Our D and especially our run D is troubling to me. We’ll see what they’re made of, but I look for a big rebound against Carolina, then on to the bye before another big road test in SF.

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Jonathan Spader's picture

November 05, 2019 at 11:57 am

"This loss hurts because the rest of the NFC North lost as well. The Packers could have gotten more breathing room in the division and could've also held serve for home field advantage in the NFC playoffs."

Completely disagree. That's what made this bitter pill easier to swallow. How much worse would it be if the rest of the NFC North won? Especially the Vikings. At least the Packers lost by not showing up. Vikings, Bears, and Lions found a way to beat themselves yet again.

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Irish_Cheesehead's picture

November 05, 2019 at 01:10 pm

One game. No big deal. They just need to get things straightened out and get on a roll in December when it counts.

That said, I’m going to smash my tv the next time I see Rodgers throw a 50-yard incompletion on 3rd and 4. Just get the freakin’ first down!!

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jannes bjornson's picture

November 05, 2019 at 09:24 pm

The Chargers just exposed the pack's weaknesses in full volume. The Rivers' comment about Pettine sitting in the same defensive look for the duration of the Game is very disturbing. The Burks and Jackson picks are looking like dead ends from Gutekunst's first draft. You cannot whiff on your high picks.

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SterlingSharpe's picture

November 05, 2019 at 01:15 pm

Look, there are no All-Pro ILB or DL just "out there" on the street.... but this might be worth a quick call.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/27902909/jaguars-several-linebackers...

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JohnnyLogan's picture

November 05, 2019 at 01:20 pm

The signs have been there all year even with the wins. This game just brought it all together because teams now have ample tape to see all the weaknesses. Pettine's D leads the league in giving up big plays so run your WRs and TEs deep and they'll make a play. Horrible defending the rush so just stuff it up the middle. On O, MVS and Allison couldn't find open space in Montana so just cover close. The other WRs are Jags. Turner is a turnstile. The TE's can't run, catch or block. There are holes galore that were covered up by great games from Rodgers and Jones. Now teams can key on Jones and there's nothing left but Adams, who will be double or even triple-teamed. Too many weak starters; Martinez, M. Adams, Lowry, MVS, Allison, Graham, Turner, Tramon, King , and no depth. High draft picks who can't play; R. Gary hasn't made a tackle yet, Burks and Jackson beat out by FAs.... and the coaches?... Capers took off his wig and we found out he was really Pettine. Special teams are a mess. Gute has been praised for the Smiths, Amos, Jaire, and Savage. Aside from them what has he accomplished? No ILB help, no legit #2 WR, no big ugly to stop the run. Go Pack!

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Swisch's picture

November 05, 2019 at 08:49 pm

I think I'm going to cry, then take up knitting on Sunday afternoons.
;-)

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canadapacker's picture

November 05, 2019 at 01:34 pm

Ok - agree - this one loss is not concerning - but I do not think that we can stop Mcaffery when our interior line plays the way that it has been for the past few games. There is issues there. There is issues with the tackling. We need some additional big bodies to sub into the middle. Dont know how good a shape Pennel was but we need some weight inside because after we lost Daniels we are light - Lancaster Clark Adams - all just over 300 pounds and Keke and Lowery under 300 and not getting it done. Our middle linebackers Fackrell and Martinez are about 10 yards short and miss a lot of tackles and Gary has not lived up to his draft level yet. So we need to be worried and we only perform well in the red zone because the field is so small that we can cover there. We need to definitely get somebody on McCaffery this weekend or it will be a long day. I think that the offense will do better but Rivera always plays Rogers tough but he still gets his points. We definitely need Carolina Giants and Redskin wins to guarantee a playoff spot. No more stupid losses like San Diego and even Phillie for that matter.

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4thand1's picture

November 05, 2019 at 04:46 pm

This will be the first real big test for our new head coach. What will ML do, how will he motivate, how will the team respond? If this team comes out flat against the Panthers, then start to worry. Another home loss and and the flood gates could open. 8-2 still sounds great at the bye............GOPACKGO

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Lare's picture

November 05, 2019 at 05:01 pm

You win or lose games on the LOS. The Packers lost this game on both.

LaFleur may need new defensive and special teams coordinators before this team becomes a legitimate playoff contender.

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Stroh's picture

November 05, 2019 at 05:55 pm

I was just flabbergasted by the offense. Don't know if it was LaFleur or Rodgers idea to get away from spreading it around in the short passing game and RB. I tend to think it was Rodgers idea to make sure he got his Adams involved. When they came out and 3 of the 1st 5 passes went to Adams I was floored.

The OL was off from the beginning. The penalties were bad enough, but to see Bahktiari and Bulaga get schooled was shocking.

Time to move forward and focus on Carolina and put this one in the rearview and get back to what was working the past month. Get that identity back

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Pierre's picture

November 05, 2019 at 09:32 pm

This team can only be competitive if Rodgers plays like he did versus the Raiders. Five TD passes to five different receivers without Adams playing. Against the Chargers he tried too hard to get it to Adams and did not spread the ball around like the four games before. Rodgers could not even get first downs or drive the ball past midfield for almost three quarters. Rodgers lack of maintaining offensive possession put the Packer defense on the field for 75-80% of the time over the three quarters.

Rodgers performance was excellent versus the Raiders but was totally inept versus the Chargers. He missed receivers, held the ball too long, and chucked the ball 50 yards downfield rather than hit 7-9 yards passes to get the first down. Once he just threw the ball in the turf to Jones standing near the sidelines like he just panicked. His performance was painful to watch after how good he’d been throwing the ball in games without Davante. No one else was at fault for the offense being this pathetic and not scoring TDs. The defense might have done better if Pettine would have changed things up more and called for some blitzes to create some turnovers.

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Pierre's picture

November 05, 2019 at 09:40 pm

I would say the loss is concerning for the Packers as it could be the start of a losing streak with the Panthers and 49ers coming up next. Losing in such a non competitive manner...being dominated by a 3-5 team...may have exposed the Packers as the weakest of the one loss teams. The Panthers will be their next big test to see what they are made of...and also if coach Lafleur can prepare his team to rebound from an embarrassing loss to get back on the winning track.

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PAPackerbacker's picture

November 06, 2019 at 02:34 am

As I stated many times before, never, ever take an opponent lightly. The Packers get their #1 receiver back and then fall flat. They were doing well with Adams on the sideline so they should do better with him in the game. Why so little rushing attempts? No balance whatsoever. And the OL looked like they were slow and confused. The defense still gives up to many yards in the running game. It was a team effort loss for sure. A lot to figure out before the Carolina Panthers come to Green Bay. Hopefully the team will come together and play well on both sides of the ball. After the bye week is a real test against the surprising 49er's. Maybe this is the Packers wake up call. Learn from the loss and move on. Don't dwell on the past and prepare for the next opponent. One game at a time. I have confidence the coaches will figure it out and the players will return to form. Go! Pack! Go!

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