Upon Further Review: Packers Week 13

November, 29, 2013
11/29/13
8:00
AM ET
DETROIT -- A review of four hot issues from the Green Bay Packers' 40-10 loss to the Detroit Lions on Thursday at Ford Field:

Who’s to blame?: One question needs to be asked after a game like this, when a team is completely dominated in all facets of the game: Was it the fault of the players or the coaches? It comes down to performance or scheme. Noting that it starts with himself, coach Mike McCarthy did go on to defend the plan he and his coaching staff put together for this game. “You line up with 46 [players] each and every week and you put a plan in for those guys to be successful, and we didn't even come close to hitting the mark today,” McCarthy said after the game. For their part, the players -- especially on the defensive side of the game -- defended the coaches. Defensive coordinator Dom Capers, whose unit allowed a season-worst 561 yards of total offense, has come under fire again in recent weeks. “The scheme’s definitely not an excuse,” linebacker A.J. Hawk said. “The coaches are up in the box and on the sideline. It’s us. It’s us 11 out there, good plays or bad. We can’t blame anybody but ourselves.”

[+] EnlargeMatt Flynn
AP Photo/Rick OsentoskiMatt Flynn was sacked seven times and led only one drive that resulted in points against Detroit.
Flynn flops: Maybe it won’t matter if Aaron Rodgers comes back for the Packers’ next game, Dec. 8 against the Atlanta Falcons. But if he doesn’t, where would McCarthy turn at quarterback? Matt Flynn played poorly against the Lions even if he didn’t get much help from the offensive line. In fact, a decent case could have been made for pulling Flynn in favor of Scott Tolzien, who was pulled from the previous game against the Minnesota Vikings. Flynn completed just 10 of 20 passes for 139 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. He was sacked seven times and led only one drive that resulted in points, and that was a 54-yard field goal after the Packers started with great field position at their own 40-yard line. Flynn might have a better command of the offense, but Tolzien might be more decisive and appears to have a better arm. Flynn held the ball too long and didn’t have much zip on the ball. “I didn’t really feel Matt had a lot of great opportunities, frankly,” McCarthy said. “Hey, he didn’t play clean either.”

Trouble for Tramon: Cornerback Tramon Williams could face discipline from the NFL after he bumped an official in the fourth quarter. Williams appeared to push away the hand of back judge Dino Paganelli after Lions running back Joique Bell's 1-yard touchdown. Williams was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct. He said he did not realize that it was an official. “I just saw a guy walk in front of me and kind of brush up on me,” Williams said. “I just kind of knocked his arm off. That’s about it. It was just emotions running. It wasn’t much there. There wasn’t anything behind it.”

Ross' revenge: The Packers once viewed Jeremy Ross as a triple-threat kind of player -- one who could return kicks, catch passes and even run the ball. But when he fumbled a kickoff against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3, they cut him. Maybe that was a mistake. Ross, who was signed by the Lions last month, did a little bit of everything against his old team. He caught a 5-yard touchdown pass against cornerback Davon House. He had one rush for 24 yards, and he had a 35-yard punt return in the second quarter that helped set up a touchdown.

Rob Demovsky

ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter

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