GREEN BAY – The Packers struggled in all three phases and left Lambeau Field on Sunday with a 27-10 loss to the New York Jets.
Here are five takeaways from the defeat:
1. It's soul-searching time.
So little went right as the Packers dropped their second straight game, falling to 3-3, that Head Coach Matt LaFleur is putting everything on the table to examine, from game-planning to personnel to decision-making.
"We have to have that urgency to want to improve," said LaFleur, who hadn't lost consecutive games in the same regular season as a head coach until now. "We're going to have to take a good hard look at everything and really do some great evaluations from a coaching perspective in terms of what's working, what's not working and try to find a different avenue."
What exactly could change will be revealed in the coming weeks, but outside of X's and O's, playing time, and the like, the priority is to keep the team together regardless of the level of frustration.
"We're going to find out a lot about ourselves moving forward, where we are right now and how we respond," LaFleur said. "I believe in the guys in the locker room. We've got a great group of men and I think that everybody's going to stick together through this and we're going to continue to scratch and claw and fight our way out of this."
2. No segment of the team held up its end, starting with the offense.
Four punts, a blocked field goal, a fumble and turnover on downs over seven possessions preceded the Packers' first points, a field goal on the final play of the first half for a 3-3 tie.
Outside of a 25-yard TD pass to Allen Lazard, the second half wasn't much better.
In all, quarterback Aaron Rodgers (26-of-41, 246 yards, one TD), who downplayed any impact his injured thumb had on his throwing accuracy, was hit nine times, sacked four. The running game averaged 3.0 yards per carry. Four of the team's seven penalties occurred on offense. Just two plays all game gained more than 16 yards.
"We're in a pretty bad predicament right now," LaFleur said. "We just could never get into a flow … That's about as frustrating of a game as I've ever been a part of … trying to get something going and you can't and you're looking for answers.
"Bottom line is if we don't get it blocked up front better, it's hard. Felt like there was a lot of pressure on our quarterback. I know Aaron took a ton of hits today and that's where the game starts. We've got to come up with something that alleviates some of the pressure."
3. As soon as the dam broke on defense, the Jets poured it on.
Through the Jets first eight possessions, they managed just three points. They gained just three first downs, in fact, as the Packers' defense was holding tough.
But when QB Zach Wilson rolled right and found receiver Corey Davis behind the defense for a 41-yard gain with nine minutes left in the third quarter, it felt like the floodgates opened.
The ensuing play was a 20-yard end-around run for a TD by receiver Braxton Berrios, and the next time the Jets had the ball, they went 66 yards in five plays, capped by a 34-yard TD run by Breece Hall (20 carries, 116 yards) for a 24-10 lead.
Then, taking over with 9:12 left, the Jets killed 6½ minutes, marching all the way to the 1-yard line with nothing but running plays, gaining 57 on four straight runs from their own 38 to the Green Bay 5.
"When everybody in the building knows you're going to run the football and they're able to do it, that's a little bit discouraging," LaFleur said.
The head coach credited his defense for continuing to fight and keep the Jets out of the end zone with 2½ minutes left, but the chip-shot field goal made it a three-score game and iced it.
4. The special teams faltered as well.
The Packers' steadiest unit in the early portion of the season wasn't immune on this rough day.
In addition to getting a field goal blocked, the Packers had a punt blocked that the Jets returned for a touchdown – in between New York's two TDs on offense, part of a 21-point scoring barrage in less than nine minutes in the second half.
"On the blocked field goal, there was a high snap which slowed down the operation, but there was leakage in the right side," LaFleur said. "I'm not quite sure what transpired on the punt."
The Packers actually blocked a Jets punt, too, as newly acquired linebacker Eric Wilson made the play in the second quarter, but Green Bay's offense was struggling so badly it gave the ball right back to New York after a three-and-out that featured a third-down sack.
5. The Packers couldn't escape injuries, either.
Late in the first half, Jake Hanson took over for Royce Newman at right guard, which LaFleur was hoping would give the offense "a spark," but then Hanson left the game after one possession due to a bicep injury. Newman returned.
Receiver Randall Cobb also exited with an ankle injury and was seen getting emotional as he was carted to the locker room. Rodgers said Cobb felt he might've broken his ankle, potentially ending his career, but he was "in better spirits in the locker room." Subsequent media reports indicated the ankle is not broken, though Cobb will miss some time.