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Packers Fall to Patriots 31-17 in Another Road Loss

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Packers Fall to Patriots 31-17 in Another Road Loss

On a night where two legendary quarterbacks met, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers (3-4-1, 1-1-1 NFC North) could not find it in them to pick up their first road win of the season and fell to Tom Brady and the Patriots (7-2, 2-0 AFC East) 31-17 at Gillette Stadium.

It almost seemed like there were too many times that the Packers were “so close, yet so far” throughout this game as they have been multiple other times this season. Green Bay and New England kind of went back and forth for a bit, before New England forced an early fourth quarter Aaron Jones fumble, which completely changed the momentum of the game and ultimately allowed for them to take over.

What we learned: This team still does not have it together

Like I mentioned before, “so close, yet so far” almost seems to be the mantra for the Packers for most of this season. There were so many times Sunday night where it was evident that miscommunications and inconsistency seemed to take over this Green Bay team on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, the Packers struggled to get the right plays off even after taking timeouts to do so, which is never ever a good sign. They ran Aaron Jones up the middle on their own one-yard line like that same thing did not just result in a safety just one week ago, but luckily escaped. The play calling was just for yet another week, questionable at times.

“I haven’t been consistent, and we haven’t been clicking the way we expect to click,” Aaron Rodgers stated at the post-game press conference. “We had a couple good drives there [towards the end of the game]. But, I need to keep feeding Davante [Adams] in those clutch situations. That’s where I’m most disappointed in myself about, having him [Adams] a couple times.”

Defensively, the Packers were able to put pressure on Brady and come up with a few decent stops, but they just proved to be inconsistent at times. Safety Jermaine Whitehead was also ejected early on into the game for slapping center David Andrews across the facemask. Again, just unthinkable mistakes that end up being costly.

What went right: The rookies performed for the most part

Not a lot went right in this game for the Packers, but one thing that did stand out was how well most of the rookies, on all different areas of the field, were able to perform.

Cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson did not seem phased going up against  veteran Tom Brady at quarterback and they were often the spark that Green Bay needed to come up with a defensive stop when they needed one. Jackson came up clutch on a pass break up in the third quarter when New England went for it on 4th down during a tie ball game. His breakup put the ball back in Green Bay’s hands, but unfortunately, they could not come up with anything. Alexander, as he has proved week after week now, was just a consistent man in coverage for the Packers. He finished with 4 total tackles on the night, 3 of which were solo, while Jackson came up with 2 tackles and 2 pass deflections according to ESPN statistics. 

On the offensive side of things, once again wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling proved why he should be a weapon in the Packers’ offense. According to ESPN, he led the team in receiving with 101 yards and caught a 51-yard dime in the third quarter which set up the touchdown that allowed the Packers to tie the game at 17. Later in the game he also made an impressive 24-yard grab over Patriots cornerback J.C. Jackson, which seemed to turn quite a few heads as well.

What went wrong: So much

In the post-game presser Davante Adams said it best:

The Packers struggled in so many different areas Sunday night it was frustrating to watch at times.

Aaron Rodgers, who via ESPN stats finished the night 24/43 for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns, was pressured 19 different times, the most in a game for him and the Packers’ offensive line this season.

The defense looked lost on multiple different plays but looked especially stunned with New England pulled out a trick play to set up their go-ahead touchdown.

It is hard to imagine how this game could have gone as well considering that the Patriots were missing two of their top players in running back Sony Michel and tight end Rob Gronkowski. Before the game, Michel was ruled out with a knee injury, while Gronk was ruled out with a back injury.

Green Bay also saw multiple key players leave the game with injuries in New England. First it was tackle Bryan Bulaga who exited the game with a knee injury, then it was safety Kentrell Brice with a knee injury, and then it was corner Kevin King with a hamstring injury. None of them returned into the lineup for the Packers as well. Linebacker Blake Martinez also exited the game after a nasty ankle roll, but luckily was able to return to the game for Green Bay in the fourth quarter.  

Offensive Player of the Game: Marquez Valdes-Scantling

As mentioned before, MVS had another big game for the Packers. According to ESPN statistics, he had 3 receptions for 101 yards on the night and averaged 33.7 yards per catch. He was targeted just six times, but when he was given the chance to make big plays was able to deliver.

Yes, safety Tramon Williams had a crucial missed tackle late in the game that led to a Patriots touchdown, but he still had a notable performance after sliding into the open role that Ha Ha Clinton-Dix left behind after the Packers traded him to the Redskins earlier this week. Williams, according to ESPN stats, has 6 tackles on the night, 5 of which were solo. Williams had multiple key tackles in the game and if he can clean up the missed tackle that resulted in a touchdown in the weeks to come, than the Packers may have just found an improvement at the safety position.

Up next, the Packers get a visit from the Miami Dolphins next Sunday at Lambeau Field. Kickoff is set for 4:25 PM EST

Sarah Kelliher is a contributor for CheeseheadTV. She can be found via Twitter @sarahkelliher4

 

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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.

Rak47's picture

Packers just are not very good. Every week they continue to make boneheaded plays to shoot themselves in the foot when they're not whiffing on blocks. The offense is beyond pathetic. 17 points won't beat he Browns in Cleveland.

NJMagic's picture

For those who are bashing Williams for his missed tackle...

JULIO. JONES. TOUCHDOWN. https://t.co/Cvs1ony5jy https://twitter.com/AtlantaFalcons/status/1059186728538263552?s=17

I SEE YOU HA HA! NEW UNI. NEW #. SAME COLORS.

Minniman's picture

I noticed that one too.

Not piling on HHCD too much, but which coach actively teaches arm grab tackles like that...... more chances of looking foolish than a hero.

Buckywunder's picture

*fazed

Ferrari Driver's picture

I am impressed with the creativity and imagination of the offensive plays that teams like the Patriots, Rams, and Saints are calling.

I felt our players were just as good as those put on the field by the Patriots, but we seem to lack the discipline (Whitehead slapping the helmet of the Patriots' player) and it just seems we are out coached.

I've been a McCarthy supporter in the past, but perhaps it is time to think about a change. Maybe Josh McDaniels has matured enough to be a top contender for a head coaching position. He certainly can put together an effective game plan.

Minniman's picture

That up-tempo job that McDaniels pulled on the Packers to start the game (stranding rookie LB's) was genius.

Rak47's picture

Halfway through the season and the Packers are 3-4-1. it almost time to stick a fork in them because they're just about done. This team will have to go 7-1 or 8-0 over the last 8 games to have a shot at the Playoffs. Sorry folks but 6-2 over the second half puts the Packers at 9-6-1 which will not be enough in the NFC to garner a playoff berth. Going to be an interesting offseason, can't wait to see what Gute does with the Packers picks and FA.

alinger84's picture

Yes, 2 more losses and they're done.

Turophile's picture

I felt confident the Packers would win this after their display against the L.A.Rams (& disagreed with Tarynfor12, who thought they would regress). Well, they did fall away from what they showed against the Rams.

Now the Pack have a losing record halfway into the season, and they still haven't gelled as a team. Worse were the injuries to several players (the ones to Bulaga and King in particular hurt). I am more a glass half full guy, than a half empty one, but even i have serious doubts now.

I just don't know if MM can pull this season back from the brink (because that is where the Pack are this year) and we have all heard the rumours that MM probably needs to get into the postseason to retain his job. We Just have to let it play out, and see where they are at the end of the season.

Bearmeat's picture

Agreed. I thought we were going to win too. But this was just a butt whipping from the first whistle. Sloppy, undisicplined and talented still equals an L against good teams.

I'm tired of the same ol schtick. Fire Mike McCarthy.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

We Suck.

Irelandseye's picture

That game wasn't the predicted show-down between the two greatest quarterbacks. It was a duel between two coaches. One who has the ultimate trust of his players, who can build great teams from jags out of position, who can call inventive game-changing plays that work, who can adjust in-game to what the opposing team throw at him and who knows how to win consistently. The other is an out-dated, stubborn and consistently clueless guy called Mike McCarthy.
It doesn't matter how good your players are, when you've lost the locker room you are a dead man walking.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

BB led teams find a way to win.

MM led teams have to be better than the opponent.

Rak47's picture

So true. And I would have no qualms about letting McCarthy go after the season. I'm much more reluctant to part ways with Pettine. I think he is very very good, he could use another draft and a competent offense that won't have the defense continually playing on a short field like they have all year this year. They did a solid job on Brady for most of the game til the offense gave the Pats the momentum on that fumble by Jones.

PAPackerbacker's picture

Same old, same old, MM. Undisciplined football, bad play calling, inability to make adjustments during a game, penalties that cost scoring opportunities, stubborn attitude, not having the team prepared to play 60 minutes of football, to predictable, no creativity. Same old, same old.

Cubbygold's picture

Hundley, MM and a terrible defense led by capers: 3-6 last year.

Rodgers, MM and a significantly improved but young defense led by Pettine: 3-4-1

If only we could spot the individual who has had his hands in both terrible teams...

freddisch's picture

Has anyone spotted Clay M or Nick Perry? Combined for 3 tackles and 1 assisted tackle each! Talk about over paying for below par performance !

Bearmeat's picture

What players have you been watching since the beginning of last year to expect anything different?

RCPackerFan's picture

The offense let the team down again.

Rodgers still isn't right. The defense kept this team in the game again, and the offense did absolutely nothing with it.

The Packers had all the momentum in the world until Jones fumbled and the Patriots took advantage with the momentum swing.

The Rams and the Patriots are 2 of the best teams in the league and in both games we had our chances. I'm honestly not concerned.

I do think its about time for one of Rodgers famous comments to turn the season around.

slicknic007's picture

Remember when Rodgers would have games where he would have completions to 8 different receivers and TDs to 3 or 4 different receivers?

Remember when the Packers ran up tempo offense and left the defense huffing and puffing on the field?

This isn't the team we are used to seeing because they aren't playing the way we used to see them play. That is on coaching. Not Rodgers. I am beginning to wonder if Rodgers doesn't check out of some of McCarthy's dumb calls to show him that the plays don't work.

slicknic007's picture

The Patriots came out with a quick no huddle offense that made me realize how long its been since we have seen this team execute that. I understand the game plan is to keep the drives going, hold on to the ball and eat clock, but man the Patriots were making me miss that style of play.

I see communication issues, lack of urgency, lack of separation on offense and too much separation on defense. I feel like the team has grown complacent. They know they are good enough to win but they think that it will just happen because of Aaron Rodgers. It pains me to watch sometime and as a fan, I'm going to keep watching because I love my team.

I have long been a supporter of McCarthy but these last 2 seasons of play calling is brutal. I've decided that I need one of 2 things to happen this off season. 1. McCarthy is stripped of his play calling duties and Gute brings in a more dynamic and creative OC. or 2. New HC. I never used to like Josh McDaniels during his Broncos stint, but I am keen to the idea of him calling plays for GB. I think the only way that happens is if he becomes HC.

I see so much potential on this team and I trust Gute to make those decisions to better this team. His first offseason gave us all a sense of excitement and hope. I cant wait to see what he does next off season. Until then, onto the Dolphins and Go Pack Go!!!!

Razer's picture

...It pains me to watch sometime and as a fan, I'm going to keep watching because I love my team...

You are describing us all with this line. I keep hoping that the coin drops and, voila, the offense pulls away. I was so optimistic when MM brought Philbin back and they were going through the playbook to update and simplify the offense. - so disappointing.

McCarthy had it right years ago when he handed off the play calling duties, Unfortunately, he handed the task one of his poorly selected assistants. He need to tap into a new-think OC that could make this offense multi-faceted. He will lose his job this year because of this mistake.

Razer's picture

So disappointed in this team. We have a great QB, who waits all day for someone to get open on plays that Bill Walsh designed. We have 3 TE's and I don't see anything over the middle. All Rodgers can say is that he needs to go to Davante Adams more. Teams must just love waiting on the Packers to slip into that 'whole vertical route' thing.

If we knew how to use the backfield, out of the backfield and quick crossing stuff teams might have to play us differently. We might become multi dimensional.

As for our defense - totally middle of the road. We simply are not good enough to stop anything beyond average.

Not to be a downer - but - this team is not playoff worthy.

arthurl's picture

After watching eight games now you can form some conclusion it's not in the cards for Pack this season. Like someone noted they can go 6-2 and still probably not qualify for playoffs. The way they're playing, 4-4 looks more realistic. Looks to me like some stuff has finally caught up with them; those last 4-5 drafts where TT blew it and didn't restock talent, bad contracts to vets, letting players go they should have kept, MM's play calling is outdated. There is still talent on this team though, so another good draft, and couple FA's could them in mix next season

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Might as well trade MM now to the Browns and get some draft picks. His days are over in Green Bay!

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Are you freaking serious?

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Beaten by a 40 Year Old QB
Without Gronkowski
31 Year Old WR in Edelman
WR Cordele Patterson used as RB
RB James White used as WR.

We have all our players healthy except G.Allison.

Need I go on?

We should have kicked their butt up and down the field.

We should have easily won 35-10.

This team is a shambles.

dobber's picture

"We should have easily won 35-10."

You're delusional, Doug.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Josh Gordon is delusional, emotional train wreck made the Packers look bad.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

35-21 ? Better

D Ernie's picture

I blame this one squarley on a head coach trying to manage red flags, the clock, time outs, calling O plays, talking to the d coach. WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAy to much on that plate.
Get an Offensive Mind like daniels and let him do the offense and try and get in the middle and orchestrate the Offense and Defense.
This un inventive offense lost to one who got inventive to make something happen. Difference in game really.

ILPackerBacker's picture

instead of quoting adams why not ask him about the two passes a real #1 would have caught that might have changed the game?

packergal's picture

• After yesterday’s game, AROD commented that "he needs to get the ball to Davante Adams more often, citing one play in particular where he could have had Adams one-on-one over the middle if he had held the ball a fraction of a second longer”…
• This from our no-longer “elite” QB: a 60% completion rate, missed easy throws, & throwing out of bounds too often—mostly from missing open reads and holding the ball “the fraction of a second longer” he insists on.
• Yes, the OL bears some responsibility and needs to be retooled (exceptions for Bakhtiari, Taylor, Linsley) but... it's evident the current OL CANNOT protect AROD long enough to deliver his “fraction of a second longer” vertical passing game.
• Recall that in the 4th quarter, AROD was pressured on 5 of 10 passes and of the passes completed, he gained a whopping 14 total yards.
• Now combine AROD ego/stubbornness with the super slow vets we have (Cobb, Graham) and add the stubbornness of MM below average coaching performance (.556 W/L% vs. .730 W/L% for Belichick) and you have the 2018 3-4-1 Packers.
• While we all love the Pack and remain hopeful, this year Pack will miss the playoffs, folks, and I hope we can at least beat the dreaded Bears later this year!
• The Solution? In 2019, an innovative offensive mind as new HC/respected leader is required to manage AROD, while Gute surrounds AROD with an improved OL through draft and FA , and adds S-p-e-e-d at TE .
• Then OLB, EDGE and Safety help must be found in draft and while it’s a tall order, I have faith that Gute can do this!

GO PACK!

stockholder's picture

I wouldn't draft any Position NEED this year. I would take the best player. Take the future all -pro. Even trading away picks to get him. The can't miss. I want a All pro DL again. The fastest DL regardless of size. The strength of the draft. Even Two. Gute needs to change the LBs by Free Agency. Especially the Depth. Look how Van Noy worked out for the pats. And draft the OL. after you fill your DL. Theo Bell for Cobb anyone? Spend the money dump the No shows.

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