The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: Week 13


The Green Bay Packers may have saved season with last-play, untimed, Hail Mary to beat the Detroit Lions.

Everyone, take a moment to breathe.

Done? Good. Now … how about that finish?

In a game that was about as ugly as ugly can be for the Green Bay Packers, they managed to win the game on a miraculous, 61-yard heave from Aaron Rodgers that took place with no time left. With the Packers facing their last play, a questionable facemask penalty gave the Packers one last chance to win the game from their own 39-yard line.

What followed can only be referred to as a miracle.

As you can see from above, Aaron Rodgers rolled out to his right and launchd a pass that very much resembled a punt. On the receiving end? Richard Rodgers, who sneaked into the end zone, jumped up and hauled in the play. The throw was Rodgers’ first successful Hail Mary of his career, and was a play that honestly might have saved the Packers’ chances to win the NFC North.

They came into the contest a game behind the Minnesota Vikings, and a loss would have made it that much harder to catch them in the division race.

It wasn’t all fun times in Detroit, however. The team was very bad for nearly three quarters, and while they did escape with a win, who knows if this will be a jumpstart for their confidence, or just one of the craziest wins in Packer history. Let’s recount the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The Good: 

The Comeback:

We have to start with this one, right? Down 20-0 at one point, the Packers managed to come back with an extremely lucky break on a fumble, a really nice catch by Davante Adams, and Aaron Rodgers showcasing his speed by running in a TD. After getting the ball back with 30 seconds left, the Packers were left with six seconds on the clock and one play left. After attempting a lateral play that saw Richard Rodgers tossing it backwards to Aaron Rodgers (who was the last person behind everyone so … not the smartest move) and the Packers being given a 15-yard penalty and an untimed play, it was all history from there.

Even though they played very poorly for three quarters, the team showed a ton of heart in the last quarter, and the offense finally looked like it was capable of performing how they used to be. If you’re an optimist, you can only hope that a win like this jumpstarts the Packers and catapults them onto a very long run towards January.

  • Richard Rodgers: Of course, we can’t leave the hero of the night off of this list. While most of the Packers receivers were busy almost running into each other or not getting open, Rodgers was creating space, hauling in passes and generally looking the tight end we thought he could be. Hopefully for the Packers, this game was nothing more than a coming out party for the tight end, and he can continue this type of play down the line. The team will need him, that’s for sure.
  • Defense: While we’ll be getting to the offense soon, it’s only right we include the defense in this portion of our list. After giving up 17 points in the first quarter (seven of which came off a turnover inside Green Bay’s 20), the Packers defense gave up only six points the rest of the game. Not only did they completely bottle up the Lions offense, they also managed to create a key turnover in the third quarter when Julius Peppers strip-sacked Matthew Stafford, which led to the Packers making it a 20-14 contest. While many fans continued to blame Dom Capers, it’s becoming clear that this year, it’s the Packers defense that’s keeping them in these games.

The Bad:

  • Drops/Miscues: This could go on the list every week, really, but at some time, you’d like to think the miscommunications will stop. After making an extremely nice TD catch, Davante Adams proceeded to drop a key second-down pass that would have resulted in a first down, and wasn’t much of a factor after that. The wide receivers continued to either fail to create any sort of separation or catch the ball throughout the game. At times, it even looked they weren’t on the same page at all in route running, as they managed to nearly bump into each other during some of their routes. Needless to say, this is going to have to change if the Packers want to make it further than the first round of the playoffs.
  • Where was Eddie Lacy?: I don’t know that he was necessarily bad himself, but it certainly was bad seeing him on the sideline after posting back-to-back 100 yard games. Benched for what was called “coaching decisions” during the game, it has yet to be stated exactly why Lacy was benched. Perhaps the team wanted to roll with a faster back on the turf of Ford Field, which would account for why they brought practice squad running back John Crockett onto the active roster for the game. Starks and Crockett did provide sparks here and there, but it was seriously head scratching as to why Lacy barely saw any play time.

The Ugly: 

  • Offense: For the first six games of the season, the Green Bay Packers offense looked in prime form, managing to click even without Jordy Nelson. After that, however? You’d be lucky to see them post just one good performance, and their performance Thursday night (outside of one quarter) was definitely ugly. To start, the Packers were held to zero points for the first 35 minutes of the game. The team looked absolutely lost for much of the first half, and they continued their NFL-worst third-down percentage, going 0-for-6 on their first six third-down attempts before finally converting. Much of the blame has been cast to the wide receiver group and their lack of abilities, but tonight was something totally different. While the receivers still struggled, many of the plays called early on were absolutely mind-boggling. For this team to have any hope of going deep into the playoffs, things have to change pretty quick, and I’m not exactly sure they can.