Instant Takeaways as Packers come up short in must-win game

Nov 6, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions linebacker Derrick Barnes (55) sacks Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the first half at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Junfu Han-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 6, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions linebacker Derrick Barnes (55) sacks Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the first half at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Junfu Han-USA TODAY Sports /

In a must-win game against the NFL’s worst defense, the Green Bay Packers still couldn’t put up many points. They are now 3-6 on the season, with any hopes of a turnaround all but crushed.

Win or lose; I have my instant takeaways from the Packers’ performance.

– First of all, there is nothing normal about this season. I mean, some of the strangest things have taken place and that continued against the Lions.

– What was that final red zone possession? Just under a minute and timeouts remaining and Aaron Rodgers is just chucking the ball around like he’s in the back yard.

– For the first time all season, the Packers had their preferred five along the offensive line–although that didn’t last the entire game. They were briefly without Jon Runyan, and David Bakhtiari left for much of the second half. But overall, the unit gave Rodgers time, although running the ball didn’t come easily. With that said, it’s not as if this is a Lions’ defensive front that has generated a lot of pressure this season.

– Despite the run game issues, Green Bay did stick with it once again.

– A lot of five-wide sets today by the Packers. For a questionable receiving core, it’s difficult to see that being a path to success for this offense.

– If you look at total yards and yards per attempt, the stat sheet looks nice for the Packers. However, they put up 9 points against a Lions’ defense that has been historically bad. If there was any hope of this unit turning this around, there shouldn’t be anymore. If so, it would have happened today.

– When the Packers made the decision to give Aaron Rodgers an extension, they were banking on him playing at a high level in order to elevate the rest of the offense that was in a transition period. However, Rodgers’ hasn’t played up to that contract, and today’s performance was by far the worst of the season, with a number of bad passes. There are several reasons for the Packers’ bad play on offense, but he’s one of them.

– It’s time to fully lean into the Matt LaFleur offense. A regular run-pass mix, no five wide, bunch sets, motion, play-action–all of it. What the Packers have been doing isn’t working.

– Green Bay has battled injuries this season, and that continued early on. Fortunately, Runyan returned as did Bakhtiari late in the game, but the Packers also lost Romeo Doubs, Christian Watson, Krys Barnes, Robert Tonyan, Rashan Gary, and Eric Stokes.

– I was worried about the Packers’ defense against a Detroit offense that has put up a lot of points at home, being a strong run game and mix of downfield shots. But overall, they held up well–even against the run. Sure, the Lions found some success, but they held them to 15 points and under five yards per play. This loss is on the offense.

– I imagine when the PFF numbers come out, Green Bay will again have a high number of quarterback pressures, but again, they failed to convert those into sacks.

– Good things happen when Joe Barry sends Quay Walker as a blitzer.

– The Packers need a deep threat, and Samori Toure just might be that guy. He was a big play threat at Nebraska and has been for the last two weeks for the Packers. He should have had a walk-in touchdown, but Rodgers underthrew him.

– Halfway through the third quarter, when Jones left with an ankle injury, he had just 11 touches–far too few once again. Why does this continue to happen?

– Another game where the Packers lost the turnover battle—something that has happened often this season. Rodgers certainly didn’t help things but the defense missed a few gifts from Jared Goff as well—again, something that has happened often as of late.

– Eight more penalties for the Packers. That’s 25 in the last three games—an unacceptable amount. Winning is already hard enough for this team, penalties only make it more challenging.

– The Packers’ next three games are against Dallas, Tennessee, and Philadelphia. It’s about to get ugly.