<
>

Upon Further Review: Packers Week 10

11/11/2013

An examination of four hot issues following the Green Bay Packers' 27-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles:

Eight-man fronts: With Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, the Packers saw eight-man fronts as rarely as any team in the league; teams were afraid to stack the box against Green Bay, knowing Rodgers could beat their defenders left in single coverage. But the Eagles tried it for five snaps on Sunday, and the end zone interception Scott Tolzien threw in the second quarter was the first the Packers have thrown against an eight-man front all season. (Tolzien replaced Packers starter Seneca Wallace after Wallace suffered a groin injury on Green Bay's first possession.) Eddie Lacy averaged just 3.1 yards per carry on 24 attempts, and with Rodgers out, the Packers could see more teams trying to take away the run and daring them to throw the ball.

Losing at Lambeau: The Packers have now lost two consecutive games at Lambeau Field, marking the first time since 2009 they have lost two home games in a season. Green Bay hasn't lost more than two games at Lambeau since a 6-10 season in 2008. The Packers' next game in Wisconsin is against the 2-7 Minnesota Vikings, who are 1-7 at Lambeau Field since the start of 2006. They're finding their typically ironclad home-field advantage is one of the things they can't count on in Rodgers' absence.

Fourth-quarter meltdowns: Coach Mike McCarthy lit into his team after Sunday's game, and talked in his postgame news conference about “recurring issues” that keep haunting the Packers. He might have been talking about Green Bay's late-game defense. Each of the last two weeks, the Packers have been unable to get off the field and keep a team from extending drives to run out the clock. On Sunday, the Eagles held the ball for the final 9:32 of the game. In the fourth quarters of the Packers' last two losses, they have held the ball for a combined 8:33, according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Who's the backup? McCarthy said after Sunday's game that Tolzien will start next Sunday against the New York Giants, but it remains to be seen who would back him up if (or should we say when) the Packers have more injury issues. The Packers were scheduled to work out former backup Matt Flynn on Monday, according to ESPN.com's Ed Werder. Flynn might give the Packers an option who is already familiar with their offense, though he hasn't been with the team since 2011. Still, for a team reeling at the quarterback position, among other places, any semblance of familiarity might be a good thing.