NOW that the dust has settled (and the leak in my kitchen floor has been dealt with), we can look back at the game on Monday night. We can look at it for what it was, and with less of the anger and disappointment at FAILING SO HARD, in the moment.
Packers win 27 – 13. The win isn’t the headline. The headline here is the 13 points. I know in the last few days, sportswriters covering this have made the story about our QB, the WR we benched, Green Bay’s QB, our Secondary struggling. All of those angles are important, but the most relevant angle is 13 points. We scored only 13 points against a team on a 4 game slide, that came into the game giving up an average of 27 points per game.
This points to a recent, and systemic failure that hasn’t given us a large enough sample size to dissect reliably yet. Another week like this and there’ll be enough statistics to make for a story and not just a headline.
But what about the stuff that the stats don’t reveal? That’s the reason for these “Four Things” articles. To have an idea of what needs addressing BEFORE the game, so that we’re forced to honestly answer questions AFTER the game.
So, of the Four Things we were looking for in this last game, what exactly did we see?
1) Don’t let Rodgers relax. I mentioned that the night should be spent pushing QB Aaron Rodgers to his left. On the rare occasions where we did, he generally didn’t look nearly as sharp. We however, let him start the game scrambling to his right and we hardly got any pressure on him in the pocket. NOT DONE
2) Take it easy. Completing passes against the Packers secondary wasn’t hard at all, as QB Carson Wentz completed 66% of his passes on the night. DONE
3) Score when you can. Head Coach Doug Pederson didn’t leave any points on the table, by gambling on 4th down, or settling for an ill-advised FG instead of getting a touchdown. We didn’t produce, but it wasn’t due to careless coaching. DONE
4) Throw to the flats. Funny thing, we did a fair job of this and even used the Slant route better than we have at any point this season. Where we failed was in not taking advantage of WHY we needed to do this. The idea was to open up the middle for the run game. Minus Wentz’s 4 runs, we only bothered to run it 14 times all night long. We set a beautiful table, then proceeded to stand on it, squat, and take a shit in the middle of it. NOT DONE
This weeks score is a weak 2 out of 4. We had ONE central mission (harass Rodgers) and we failed at it so abysmally. Let’s hope the Bengals game is more fun to watch.