The Green Bay Packers (3-4-1) fell to the New England Patriots (7-2) by a score of 31-17 on Sunday night.
Some initial thoughts on the loss:
The lack of creativity on this offense is absolutely a detriment to the team. I don’t know how you watch a team like the Patriots offensively and feel like you’re still competing on a level playing field. Sure, New England used a couple “trick” plays, but they used them at exactly the right time and took advantage of exactly what they were looking for. Mike McCarthy’s penchant for abandoning whatever successful schemes or players he has in the middle of games is mindboggling.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling is going to be a player in this offense. The rookie has clearly earned the trust of Aaron Rodgers and it showed, as he was by far the most effective receiver for Green Bay. If he and fellow rookie Equanimeous St. Brown continue to pan out, Rodgers is going to find himself with a wealth of receiving talent going forward.
Speaking of Rodgers, he’s not without blame. The pattern of running the play clock to zero on every snap and needlessly wasting timeouts is incredibly frustrating, and it doesn’t exactly keep the defense guessing as to when the ball will be snapped. Rodgers is still the most talented quarterback in the game, as he showed with a couple throws he made against the Patriots, but it’s fair to wonder if he’s letting his brain get in the way at times.
It’s incredible to see the difference between how easy things look for Tom Brady and the Patriots offense and how convoluted and messy the Packers’ offense looks. When the Patriots want something, they take it. When the Packers want something, they gently nudge you and ask for it politely, and if they can’t have it, then, well, that’s okay.
When the Packers fell to 4-6 in 2016, Mike McCarthy said it put their “ass against the wall.” Well, this might be Ass Against the Wall Time 2018. A home contest against the Dolphins next week is suddenly must-win. That’s followed by a trip to Seattle on a short week and a visit to Minnesota. Yeah, things are getting shaky at 1265 Lombardi
Top photo: Greg M. Cooper/USA Today sports