On Now
Coming Up
  • Thu., Sep. 03, 2015 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM CDT Gerry Ellis and Tony Fisher appearance

    Gerry Ellis and Tony Fisher appearance

    Thursday, September 3, 2015 3:30 - 5pm

    Green Bay Packers Bishop’s Charities Game

    Meet and Greet Autograph Table

    Oneida Nation Gate, Lambeau Field

  • Thu., Sep. 03, 2015 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM CDT Packers vs. New Orleans Saints (Bishop's Charities Game) Packers vs. New Orleans Saints (Bishop's Charities Game)
  • Wed., Sep. 09, 2015 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM CDT Bill Schroeder appearance at NWTC

    Bill Schroeder appearance at NWTC

    Wednesday, September 9, 2015

    11:30 am- 12:30 pm

    NWTC Green Bay Campus- Welcome Center SC240

  • Sun., Sep. 13, 2015 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM CDT Packers at Chicago Bears Packers at Chicago Bears
  • Sun., Sep. 20, 2015 3:30 PM - 7:30 PM CDT Coats For Kids Collection

    The Salvation Army will be collecting new and gently used winter coats as well as cash donations in the parking lot and at each of Lambeau Field’s gates.

  • Sun., Sep. 20, 2015 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM CDT Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks

News

Print
RSS

The Packers without Aaron Rodgers aren't the Packers

Posted Nov 28, 2013

Loss to Lions leaves Packers with sinking feeling

DETROIT—In just four short days, Matt Flynn went from the heights of resurrecting the Packers’ playoff hopes and his career, to the depths of a 40-10 loss at Ford Field on Thursday that was a statistical embarrassment for a proud offense.

“Didn’t get any rhythm. They played their tails off. They were flying around. When you’re not making first downs, they get momentum and it’s tough to get out of the hole,” Flynn said.

This was nothing new. It has been this way for the Packers since they lost their starting quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, on Nov. 4.

“We’re in this to win games and we haven’t won a game in five weeks,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “You don’t want to put everything on one man, but I think it’s obvious how important Aaron Rodgers is to us.”

How important is he? The Packers haven’t won a meaningful game without him. That’s not an opinion, that’s a fact.

Maybe the saddest sight of the whole day occurred in pregame warmups, when Rodgers was caught by television throwing a football. He looked so natural, so able. If only he could play in this, the biggest game of the season.

When he left the field on Nov. 4 with a broken collarbone, the Packers had a 3-0 lead over the Bears. They were running the ball and stopping the run better than they had at any time since before their Super Bowl season of 2010. The Packers were on a four-game winning streak. They were one of the hottest teams in the league and they were building toward a big finish that would carry them into the playoffs as a hot team to be feared.

Five weeks, four losses and one tie later, everything about the Packers is in decline, including their prospects for the remainder of this season. The playoffs are now a reach.

The Packers ran for 24 yards on Thursday; the Lions ran for 241. Everything has declined since Rodgers was injured, including an always dependable passing game. It was Flynn that set team records for yardage and touchdown passes in the 2011 finale against the Lions.

“They have a lot of the same guys, but they’re a different defense,” Flynn said of the Lions.

The Packers offense has a lot of the same guys, too, but it has clearly been a different offense since Rodgers’ collarbone and the Packers’ season were simultaneously fractured.

How is it that the absence of a quarterback has caused such a fall on defense? It’s the great mystery, but the facts suggest a strong correlation.

“They dared us to throw the football and they won,” McCarthy said.

This was the kind of game for which Rodgers had become famous for winning. The defense would give up a lot of yards, as the 2011 defense did, but it would take the ball away a few times, as it did in 2011 and on Thursday, and Rodgers would capitalize on those takeaways by scoring and putting pressure on the Packers’ opponent to do the same. Patience didn’t belong to the Packers’ opponents in 2011, but it did to the Lions on this Thanksgiving Day because at no time were the Packers a threat to score.

“We were still optimistic,” Flynn said of the Packers’ mood at halftime, trailing 17-10. “We knew that’s not us out there.”

It was the Packers, but not Rodgers’ Packers, and the Packers without Rodgers aren’t the Packers.

Complete game Coverage

 
blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest News

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Rodgers, Kuhn dress like pilots at luncheon

    (1:12) Posted 9 hours ago

    After the final training camp practice, the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce hosted the annual Welcome Back Luncheon at Lambeau Field.

  • Packers vs Saints: Final Thoughts

    (3:30) Posted 14 hours ago

    Packers.com's Vic Ketchman and Mike Spofford preview game four of the preseason as the Green Bay Packers take on the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field. Vic and Mike talk about what's at stake, players to watch, and ways the Packers can win.

  • Ted Thompson: "It's not my favorite time of year"

    (10:51) Posted 16 hours ago

    Hear from Green Bay Packers General Manager Ted Thompson as he talks about the final preseason game between the Packers and Saints and how the game will affect the 53-man roster moving into the regular season.