Though they were favored by ten whole points, the banged-up Packers faced anything but a walk in the park against the Browns. And while the game was much closer than the score would suggest, Green Bay’s fast-improving defense helped pull out a solid win at home. After giving up 27 points to the Bengals in Week 3, the defense has since allowed an average of 13 points per game without the services of Clay Matthews.
Sam Shields was nothing short of spectacular against Josh Gordon for four quarters, holding Cleveland’s star receiver to 21 yards on two catches. Equally impressive was third-year cornerback Davon House, who made two key pass breakups deep in Packers territory. With Casey Hayward expected to return from a hamstring injury next month and a host of young cornerbacks playing at a high level, one must think Tramon Williams’ days in Green Bay are numbered.
As every NFL head coach will tell you, it is difficult to win on the road when committing mistakes in all three phases of the game. And despite a number of dropped passes by the wide receiver corps and a bonehead play by John Kuhn on a blocked punt, the Packers managed to pull out a win over the defending Super Bowl champs. Most impressive was the defense’s ability to play three quarters of lights-out football in Clay Matthews’s absence.
Lacy was the primary provider of offensive rhythm on a day in which James Jones and Randall Cobb both left the game early with injuries. The blocking in front of Lacy was less than impressive for the Packers, a trend that has managed to continue since the beginning of the season. And still, the running game has quickly become a bright spot for the offense as a whole, helping bail out an abnormally shaking passing attack.
The final score of the Packers’ Week 5 meeting with Detroit suggested that they turned in the exact type of rebound performance needed after their bitter loss to Cincinnati two weeks ago. In reality, Green Bay’s victory was sloppy and error-filled, as a sleepy Packers team took advantage of Calvin Johnson’s absence and keyed in on the electric Reggie Bush. At the same time, nine points allowed by the defense and 449 yards worth of offense is impressive regardless of the opponent.
A normally-sluggish pass rush was able to drop Matthew Stafford four times on Sunday, despite allowing 262 yards through the air. Two of those sacks came from Nick Perry, who had been arguably the quietest starter on the defensive side of the ball since the start of the regular season. And while Perry’s stat line stood out, it was fellow outside linebacker Mike Neal who had his nose around the ball all day.
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While the Packers could have made a bigger statement in their win against the Lions, they’ve put one in the win column in their first division game. Who gets the Ring, who gets the Finger, and who’s next up. Check out this episode of Q5 podcast on GreenBay Packer Nation.
To put it nicely, Mike McCarthy has flat-out owned NFC North opponents since taking over as Packers Head Coach in 2006. The offensive guru has only lost to the Lions once (a 7-3 loss in Detroit that saw Aaron Rodgers go down in the first half) and has won six straight against the Bears. In a highly competitive NFC North division, the Packers need that trend to continue in 2013, starting on Sunday as the division-leading Lions come to town.
This year, the Packers don’t have the luxury of a ‘gimme opponent’, which tends to exist in most divisions around the league – the Browns, Raiders and Cardinals being classic examples. The Lions have traditionally played that role in the NFC North but have clearly rebounded from their four-win season a year ago, now sitting atop the NFC North. The Packers get the Lions at home two weeks after suffering a mistake-heavy loss to the Bengals on the road.
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The bye week has come and gone and it’s time to start looking ahead to the coming game against our division rivals the Lions. In this episode of Q5 we recap the brief pre-bye season, give out our summary Ring and Finger, and overview the remaining schedule.
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McCarthy admitted the play calling in the Bengals game shifted because of the loss of Finley for the majority of the game. Just how crucial was it that the Packers lost their starting TE for most of the game? Answer the poll below. Continue reading
During the Bengals first drive of the day on Sunday, Tramon Williams missed tackling Sanu on the sidelines and allowed him to race up the sidelines for 32 before M.D. Jennings pushed him out of bounds. While Tramon should have made that tackle, the replay tells a bit of a different story about the play. Continue reading
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The Packers suffered a disappointing loss to the Bengals in Cincinnati yesterday. Who gets the Ring and who gets the Finger? What were the key stats from the game? Find out in this episode of Q5 on GreenBay Packer Nation.com.
One year after the infamous ‘Fail Mary’ debacle in Seattle, the Packers experience similar pain in a road loss to the Bengals. Aaron Rodgers turned in one of his worst stat lines since becoming Green Bay’s starting quarterback in 2008. The bye week comes at a convenient time as the Packers played the final minutes of Sunday’s game without a healthy running back on the roster. Concerning is the fact that the Packers just can’t seem to put opponents away, even with the 16-point lead they had in Cincinnati.
Turnovers Forced on Defense
Typically a unit that doesn’t force many fumbles, the Packers defense generated three against a normally-discipline Cincinnati offense. Sam Shields added an interception in the process of shutting down A.J. Green for three of the four quarters. Through three regular season games Brad Jones just might be the defense’s MVP – the fifth-year linebacker has been instrumental in the run defense’s success and has made Desmond Bishop’s absence considerably less noticeable.